composer, singer, songwriter

OK It’s Not OK (2015)

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Words and Music by Corey Dargel

New Amsterdam Records is proud to announce OK It’s Not OK, the fourth studio album from “baroquely unclassifiable” (The New Yorker) composer and “prince of postclassical song” (Time Out New York) Corey Dargel. The album will be released on January 27, 2015.

Music Video / Paintings by Doug Fitch:

OK It’s Not OK is the follow-up to 2010’s lauded double album of chamber pop songs Someone Will Take Care of Me and finds Dargel returning to the world of skittering and buoyant electronics that colored his 2008 release, Other People’s Love Songs. On OK It’s Not OK, Dargel plays the roles of producer, songwriter, singer and composer, demonstrating his mastery of all aspects of the creative process and injecting his songs with a diverse spectrum of sounds.  The instrumentation on OK It’s Not OK embraces classical, rock, and pop idioms equally – with violin, piano, and pure-tone vocals appearing alongside electric guitar, drum machines, and synthesizers.

Fans of Dargel will immediately recognize his idiosyncratic style – a combination of Steve Reich’s devious grooves, Morrissey’s literary wit, and Xiu Xiu’s emotional directness – and newcomers will be drawn in by Dargel’s indelible and contagious melodies.

Dargel’s lyrics are as carefully crafted as his music. Multiple layers of word games, unexpected rhymes, and double entendres merge with quirky rhythms and complex grooves that mimic natural speech patterns. Thematically, the album is primarily concerned with the intertwining subjects of depression and composure, yet Dargel’s winking delivery and clever arrangements bring a sense of levity to these heavier topics. Unpredictable melodic twists and turns seamlessly blend with Dargel’s earnest, conversational disposition, belying the sometimes-dark lyrical content which, in less careful hands, could take a turn for the morose but, in Dargel’s hands, feels light and even playful.

Throughout the album, the distinction between depression and composure is evasive.  Beginning with the first song — “It’s not a disguise / My vacant stare / Look into my eyes / There’s nothing there” — a gentle suspicion of composure carries the album to its penultimate song, in which a grief-stricken singer protests that “My smile shall remain / Upside down.”  The final song, inspired by one of Lydia Davis’s short stories, is an untempered elegy: “If I gathered everything you created / Every little gift that survives you / Put them all in the same place and waited / Wouldn’t that be enough to revive you / Whatever it was that killed you / Surely I can rebuild you.”

The album features contributions from violinist Cornelius Dufallo, guitarist James Moore, bassist Eleonore Oppenheim, and keyboardist Wil Smith. Artist Doug Fitch created the cover art.

Press and News:

Rhapsody Playlist, “New York’s New Art Songs: From Post-Punk to Post-Classical,” by Seth Colter Walls

Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review: “Dargel gives us some breakthrough music that you definitely need to hear. A landmark in its very own way.”

Quirks & Quiddities: “some of the most interesting music being made today”

Rhapsody: “Dargel’s complex-yet-poppy writing for strings, synths, percussion and his own voice is more than catchy…the album evokes the buoyant quality of unexpected joy.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “NYC-based singer, composer and producer follows his 2010 double album “Someone Will Take Care of Me” with highly tuneful, highly thoughtful songs set at acute and obtuse angles to familiarity.” 

OUT Magazine: Interview – Singer Corey Dargel: It’s OK to Be Gay and Not OK

PopMatters: “There’s Nothing There” Video Premiere – “The sophisticated and catchy experimental pop of “There’s Nothing There” is an intriguing preview of his new record, OK It’s Not OK.”

I Care If You Listen: Track Preview, “There’s Nothing There” – “Dargel’s chamber pop strikes again with its elaborate instrumentation, straight-tone vocals, and dense lyrics”

Fingers on Blast: “Corey Dargel is amazing on his new song that is beautiful, chilled out, folk/indie rock with delightful echoing vocals and engaging guitar playing.”


Track Listing
01 There’s Nothing There
02 The Opposite Of Love
03 Do You Have Any Reactions At All
04 Until She Doesn’t
05 The Saddest Excuses
06 On This Date Every Year
07 No Feelings Grown-Up Enough
08 Slow Down
09 Your Discompassionate Arms
10 Impression Of Me
11 I Will Only Get Well
12 Your Profound Self-Doubt
13 Upside Down
14 Surely I Can Rebuild You

Total Time: 44 minutes

Corey Dargel – vocals, synths, drum machines
Cornelius Dufallo – violin and digital looping
James Moore – electric guitar and classical guitar
Eleonore Oppenheim – electric bass
Wil Smith – keyboards