New Noise Magazine is pleased to bring you the premiere of Damien Done’s first full-length effort, Charm Offensive (listen below), which is out today through Mind Over Matter Records.
Much like another infamous Damien, there is a dark and seedy undercurrent at the heart of what makes Charm Offensive such an alluring listen. Damien Done is the latest project from Damien Moyal – the former fixture as frontman of a number of iconic Florida hardcore bands, such as As Friends Rust, On Bodies, Shai Hulud, Culture, and Morning Again (among others), and it’s a bold left turn from the expectations his past works place on your ears. With his haunting baritone navigating a pulpy array of noir-ish tales of blackmail, voyeurism, secrecy, and guilt, Charm Offensive is a dark, moody fever dream. The arresting mixture of art rock, new wave, doom rock, and post-punk spans styles and genres to create a surprisingly cohesive and, well, charming collection. The record perfectly conjures up a lush, gloomy atmosphere; however, Damien Done’s first release is impeccably melodic and addictive. Charm Offensive is truly a treat for fans of Nick Cave, King Dude, and the darker side of new wave.
Damien spoke to New Noise about the record’s themes and its creation:
“With Damien Done, I’ve always enjoyed writing about the aspects of relationships that don’t typically get addressed. In the past, this presented itself in sort of crooked love songs, written from the perspective of the “other man” in an affair, or the person who’s certain their partner will soon discover how unworthy of their affections they are. With the Charm Offensive album, I’m still exploring relationships in terminal decline, but through a more cinematic, almost noir lens. This time around, the wrongdoings – the trespasses — are often criminal in nature. We see a husband tormented by his involvement in something insidious and organized, always worried that, if discovered, will be misconstrued as disinterest in his marriage, which in fact is the only light in his life. There are songs where the protagonists are blackmailers and murderous wives, and others where a man who’s witnessed something awful faces his powerlessness and impotence against a vast network of corrupt law enforcement and authorities. There’s a song about home invasion by woman obsessed with her neighbor. In most, if not all of the songs, the stories are left unresolved to enhance that sense of voyeurism. We’re not getting whole, tidy stories, but walking past windows and seeing moments of threat, guilt or compulsion whose beginnings or endings we’ll likely never know.”
On his favorite songs:
“I think I’m most proud of ‘Curious Thing’ and ‘The Lord Fox,’ which, oddly enough, were the last two songs written. In fact, ‘The Lord Fox’ was written toward the end of the recording, when I decided to throw out one song and needed a quick replacement. ‘Roof Access’ has a very cool, steady coldness that
I love and will probably explore further, and ‘Angels Overlooking Him’ was a pretty fun departure, and is almost doowop in nature.”