follows a familiar practice developed by other Saddle Creek Records
artists -- work in multiple bands. Cursive
lead singer Tim Kasher also fronts the kinder, gentler The
Good Life; The Faint's Joel Petersen
released a solo project on Tiger Style Records last year as Broken
Spindles; Cursive guitarist Ted Stevens fronts post-folk ensemble
Mayday; and most notably Bright
Eyes' singer/songwriter Conor Oberst also stands alongside Dalley
as the leader of blistering emo-punk band Desaparecidos.
Dalley said the schizoid
existence is both a creative outlet and a way to fill the gaps when
Oberst is busy with Bright Eyes. "Desa (short for Desaparecidos)
was definitely one of the most rewarding and fun things I've done.
It's also one of the most frustrating," Dalley said. "We
had a real strong debut and were generating a great fan base. Things
were going forward, but it screeched to a halt when Bright Eyes
started up again. That was fine -- I can't imagine it going any
other way -- but it's hard to have to wait for the opportunity to
Enter Statistics, a one-man
recording project that Dalley began last year, recording the initial
demos on 8-track before booking time last winter with Saddle Creek
veteran producer Mike Mogis at Presto! Studios in Lincoln.
Mogis and Dalley rerecorded
the demos with drummer Mike Sweeney (Split Second) contributing
on three songs. The resulting self-titled EP is a departure from
anything Dalley has done with his other band.
The differences are obvious
right off the bat. Opening track, "Another Day," starts
with a stew of buzzing electronic noises, a sharp kick drum, synths
and Pixies-style tonal guitar. Enter Dalley's restrained, low, breathy
vocals, singing "Another day / Where everything's the same
/ Nothing ever changes / At all." A little over two minutes
into the song, the pop fades to radio-dial static before transitioning
into electronic, Notwist-style instrumental "(A Memory)."
It all leads up to the EP's big moment, "Hours Seemed Like
Days," a laid-back rocker with shades of J Mascis. After another
brief instrumental portrait (the spacey "(A Flashback)"),
the EP closes with the serene electronic pop number "Cure Me,"
that feels like low-octane Depeche Mode or New Order.
Shortly after finishing
the final mix, Dalley sent the CD to Wilmington, Delaware, label
Jade Tree Records, whose roster includes Cap'n Jazz, Jets to Brazil,
Milemarker, Pedro the Lion and Texas is the Reason. "I grew
up with Saddle Creek and Jade Tree," Dalley said. "With
Desa, it was automatic that we would be on Saddle Creek. But when
I finished this one, the first people I thought of was Jade Tree.
I mailed it to them and a week later they were flying me up to their
offices. To me, it was a huge deal having someone as excited about
the project as much as I am. Being on both labels, I have the best
of both worlds, and hopefully there will be some good crossover
was definitely one of the most rewarding and fun things I've
done. It's also one of the most frustrating."