Release Date: Jul 23, 2013
Record label: Paracadute
Pyyramids, an OK Go side project of sorts (featuring the band’s own Tim Nordwind on bass and released on the band’s own label), seem to have been largely overlooked. And what a shame it is, because from the first run-through I had already decided that they must be a critical darling and I, as always, am just late to the game. If you've skipped over this release because of the comparative quiet surrounding it, I highly suggest you rewind and hit play.
As the story goes: OK Go bassist Tim Nordwind and He Say, She Say vocalist Drea Smith initially bonded via email over British post-punk bands from the ‘80s. And although both members of their don’t-call-it-a-side-project, Pyyramids, have experience playing in more indie (and poppier) bands, the duo has managed to blend all of those influences on its first full-length album. Brightest Darkest Day, released on OK Go’s own label, includes nine new tracks of moody, broody goodness.
In its mix of decisively poppy hooks and evocative cool, Brightest Darkest Day, the debut album from OK Go's Tim Nordwind and He Say, She Say's Drea Smith, feels like a natural blend of their approaches without sounding like anything they've done before. The sullenly catchy pop of "Everyone Says," for instance, could be roughed up into an OK Go song, but it's more interesting here, with a martial beat and spy movie guitars backing Smith's deceptively sweet vocals. Throughout the album, the duo nods to the new wave and post-punk Nordwind and Smith both love without forcing an '80s feel on their music.
PYYRAMIDS is a duo made up of singer Drea Smith and OKGo bassist Tim Nordwind. He’s the guy with the big glasses and beard who you might’ve mistaken for that band’s singer if you just went by their videos. She’s the vocalist for little-known and difficult-to-Google electro dance project He Say She Say. As PYYRAMIDS, both musicians are stepping outside of their respective comfort zones for an album of dark, soulful rock.
Composed of OK Go’s Tim Norwind and former He Say/She Say member Drea Smith, Los Angeles duo PYYRAMIDS have some dark, grimy things to work out on their debut LP, Brightest Darkest Day. These are wounds that they’re excited to have the opportunity to pick at, sounds that wouldn’t fit either of their more prominent acts. That said, elements of electro-rock and indie pop are ingrained into their music, at times making the grit endearing and at others backing away from it.