North Carolina-based band Des Ark is mostly Aimée Argote. Of course, there are other members, too. It wouldn’t be right to call it a band otherwise. But those members have changed so much over the years that Argote herself considers it a series of different bands that all shared the same name.
Regardless of the semantics, it’s clear Argote herself is enough of a force to unify any number of bands into a single vehicle for her music. “Everything Dies,” her latest album with the latest version of Des Ark, was released on Savannah’s own Graveface label. It’s an album that exists at the intersection of folky and anthemic.
At times, the texture is sparse, finger-picked guitar and vocals. “Snake Stuff,” an airy ballad, uses this formula, though it grows with overdubbed harmonies as the song reaches its climax.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is “Ties,” with a sound that never takes a breath, sustained between beats with distorted guitars and edgy bass. An arpeggiated keyboard line claims the song’s heights while a bass drum rises up from the depths. Argote’s yearning vocals take center stage.
No matter the style of a particular song, it’s this yearning that unifies the album and Des Ark’s music as a whole. Argote approaches each subject, each lyric, with sincere intensity. The listener can’t help but be pulled into each song’s texture, and to share the same wants Argote seems to take so personally.