Release Date: Feb 17, 2015
Record label: 20/20/20
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Soundtracks, Stage & Screen
Conceived as a soundtrack to a silent movie, Damon & Naomi's eighth studio album, Fortune, is their most intimate, most affecting set of songs to date. The film is Naomi Yang's own creation, an elegiac piece revolving around the loss of a parent, heavy feelings of nostalgia, and eventual self-discovery, but one needn't see the film to get the point. The songs themselves stand alone and transmit all the devastating emotion that the film does, maybe even more since listeners can apply them to their own experiences and/or imaginations.
Naomi Yang and Damon Krukowski have been performing together for the better part of 30 years, yet in that time music has never been the sole focus of their creative energies. Damon is a poet and writer (and an occasional Pitchfork contributor) while Naomi is a photographer and graphic designer whose visual design skills have always been an integral part of the duo’s work, dating back to her album designs for their beloved group Galaxie 500. In addition to operating the 20/20/20 record label and Exact Change small press, in recent years Naomi has branched out into directing stylish and evocative music videos for such artists as Marissa Nadler, Julia Holter, and Elisa Ambrogio.
Their music grows more reflective as this couple mature. Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang, for over two decades, explore subdued moods on their intimate songs and vocals. After the demise of Galaxie 500, this drummer and bassist continued their partnership, insisting on an organic, integral sense of music that turned inward more than their previous band.
When they drifted away from their onetime mother ship, otherwise known as Galaxie 500, it would have been reasonable to expect that Damon & Naomi would eventually morph into an entity bearing their own identity, forsaking the dream pop handle for something a little more distinct. Ten albums on, that transition has yet to take place, and instead it seems they’re merely drifting from one nocturnal slumber fest to another. Not surprisingly then, Fortune finds the duo in the same hazy malaise, all shimmery guitars, meditative melodies and vocals so hushed and unobtrusive, there’s little to tether them at all.