De Novo Dahl: 'Means to an End'

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De Novo Dahl 300

De Novo Dahl.

Jonathan Kingsbury

The outfits worn in De Novo Dahl's band photos are ridiculous, cartoonish, and over-the-top, matching the group's music perfectly. The rock quintet plays powerful, energetic songs that are fun and catchy as well as quirky and tongue-in-cheek. De Novo Dahl's second full-length album, Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound, is anthemic and larger-than-life while maintaining a level of irony that keeps it from sounding trite.

The record opens with "Shout," a happy-go-lucky track that appropriately features crowd-choruses of "scream" and "shout." The community sing-along style mimicks groups such as The Polyphonic Spree or Electric Light Orchestra, with a lighthearted nature that evokes images of flower-haired frollicking, peace, and love. "Means to an End" opens with a healthy dose of feedback, and moves forward as an echo- and reverb-filled psychedelic rock track — perhaps one of the band's more serious moments. The track's musical and lyrical grandiosity exemplifies Move Every Muscle's ambitiously huge sound.

Bassist Keith Lowen says the group's spirit comes from its love of live performance. The band has made a name for itself in the booming Nashville music scene on the strength of its live shows. "We're more about being goofy and dancing and less about trying to prove how artistic or creative we are," Lowen says. "I think we are a serious band that don't take ourselves seriously."

De Novo Dahl just finished a five-week tour with the Michigan band Tally Hall. The group will spend its summer playing a number of festivals, including Lollapalooza and All Points West.

This story originally ran Jun. 26, 2008.

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