Taking Music to the Masses

Denver Dalley, guitarist for the local band Desaparecidos, will be at the show to celebrate the release of a new full-length CD by his side band, Statistics.

What started as a hobby has turned into a labor of love for Joe Vavak.

Since 1999, his underground music Web site – www.somedaynever.com – has grown bigger, better and more visible.

The Web site will celebrate its fifth anniversary at a concert Friday at Sokol Underground.

The evening also is a CD release show for the new full-length record by Statistics, the project of Denver Dalley, guitarist for local band Desaparecidos.

"Leave Your Name" is the follow-up to Statistics’ self-titled debut EP, a lush electro-pop gem that was released last summer on Jade Tree Records in Wilmington, Del.

"I tried to stay true to the sound established on the EP," said Dalley, who will be on tour through mid-April. "I actually recorded this back in August, so I am excited to get this out there and to work on more things."

Vavak, a 24-year-old photography student at Metropolitan Community College, said he is amazed at how much his site has taken off.

"Back when I first started, I got excited if I got 30 visits a day," he said.

Today, his Web site gets from 750 to 1,000 visitors a day.

It also offers more features, including a message board, product giveaways, MP3 downloads and a calendar of coming concerts.

"We list twice as many shows as a year ago," said Vavak, who estimates he spends about 15 hours a week maintaining the Web site.

Vavak hopes to have an online store up and running sometime this year.

Last month, Vavak and friend Mike Perry created Someday Never Records, which this year expects to put out new material from local bands Roarbot and The Show is the Rainbow.

With a Someday Never Records compilation disc in the works, Vavak is looking forward to a busy year of spreading music to the masses.

"It’s part of who I am," Vavak said. "I don’t think I could stop."

Statistics [I]Leave Your Name[/I] Review

Yet another promising release from the small town of Omaha, Statistics contribute more songs of reflection and introspection for your aching heart to absorb throughout winter. As a solo project of Denver Dalley, most known for his participation in rock outfit Desaparecidos, Statistics skillfully combines pop elements with mainstreamo undertones. Imagine Desaparecidos making out with the Postal Service and you have Statistics. It’s good. I would go into more depth about the record, but with out any of the artwork or lyrics I feel like to continue putting forth my own energy is unnecessary.

( This CD comes out January 20th, 2004)

Statistics [I]Statistics[/I] Review

Witness the inner workings of indie rock marketing: Saddle Creek, looking to up the output of the burgeoning Omaha Scene, releases an album by the Desaparecidos, which is little more than a side project for Conor Oberst, whose Bright Eyes outfit is part of the holy trinity (along with the Faint and Cursive) of Omaha’s "explosion". The kids eat up the Desaparecidos because it’s Oberst’s other band, and all things Omaha are golden right now. But what to do while Conor’s busy with Bright Eyes and there doesn’t seem to be anything on the horizon for the Desaparecidos? Enter the slightly savvier Jade Tree, who know a thing or two about cultivating the farm team (see all Joan of Arc offshoots for reference). Here, we are presented with Statistics.

"Sta-who?" you ask. Answer: Denver Dalley of the Desaparecidos. The other guy from Conor’s other band. Thus ends lesson number one: how to take a kid no one’s ever heard of and make you pick up his record.

All this business talk is not meant to suggest that Statistics’ debut EP lacks merit. This fifteen-minute teaser for an upcoming full-length is a decent slab of indie rock. Everything here is Dalley’s doing — guitars, vocals and electronic rhythm section. The sound lies comfortably among peers like Pinback or Earlimart, though it’s neither as melodically entertaining as the former nor as lush as the latter. "A Memory’s" reverse-gated drums are as old as Licensed to Ill, and "Hours Seemed Like Days"’ distorted vocoder vocals went out of style right around the same time Cher made her eighth comeback.

Statistics’ saving grace is that Dalley is not a bad songwriter, though he often belies his influences (a little Superchunk here, a little Folk Implosion there). The beats behind "A Flashback" can certainly cause a little ass-shakin’, while the rugged guitars keep things appropriately rockin’. Dalley has no problem blending the guitar work with the electronica, and his vocals are seldom put up front, so these five tracks have a cohesive texture, culminating in the standout, "Cure Me".

Statistics is entering a genre — indie-tronica — that is relatively fresh, but quickly filling up with talented acts (see the Postal Service, Denali, the Notwist, etcetera). Dalley’s bid for a place in the ranks is commendable, if not top-notch — a pleasant but far from essential introduction. It’s definitely enough to put Statistics on the radar. If he can raise the ante on his full-length, due later this year, he’ll turn a lot of heads.

Statistics [I]Statistics[/I] Review

If the Postal Service accomplished anything, it’s to promote the credibility of the unholy union between emo and electronica. The record gave indie rock’s closet Depeche Mode fans reason to celebrate (truly, does it get more emo than Depeche Mode’s “Somebody?”). The Postal Service’s Gibbard and Tamborello apparently deputized Denver Dalley, guitarist for Saddle Creek’s Desaparecidos, as his side project is replete with ’80s modern-rock references and detached melancholy. Statistics, the self-titled EP from Dalley’s generally one-man band, is an all too brief, but exceptionally promising, debut.

Statistics essentially links three proper tracks tastefully with two nicely structured instrumental pieces. The record occasionally sounds like Dalley’s other band, only more richly textured and with slightly less overzealous singing. “Another Day” opens, troublingly, like Tamborello’s Dntel. However, the opening electronic noodle quickly yields to live drums and a guitar figure reminiscent of U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name.” In fact, the song’s direct lineage can be traced to the late-’80s anthems of U2 and the Psychedelic Furs. The track fades to radio static, a brief acoustic interlude and creepy minor-chords synths seemingly cribbed from Queen’s Flash Gordon soundtrack. The similarity of “Hours Seemed Like Days” to Smashing Pumpkins’ poppier moments must be grounds for excommunication from Conor Obert’s “cool kids” table. Regardless, the track’s sharp power pop is the perfect canvas for lyrics about simpler times. Statistics closes with “Cure Me,” the title an apparent admission of either theft or hero worship: The track sounds like a Disintegration-era Cure demo dressed up by Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore.

Instrumental interludes “(A Memory)” and “(A Flashback)” adequately serve the transitions in mood from track to track. Statistics accomplishes the greatest feat possible for a release of its type: It leaves the listener wanting more. Far too often, EP releases are a garbage dump of half-baked ideas and marginal performances. Statistics, the record and the band, is a calling card for a sharp, new talent.

Statistics [I]Statistics[/I] Review

I think the requirement for being a musician in Omaha, Nebraska is that you perform with at least two bands. Tim Kasher has Cursive and The Good Life, Ted Stevens has Cursive and Mayday, Conor Oberst has Bright Eyes and Desaparecidos, and now Denver Dalley, guitarist for the aforementioned Desaparecidos, has his own project, Statistics. It’s lucky for us that the Midwest breeds such prolific and inspired musicians, because there’s no shortage of quality music coming out of Omaha. And I think the world is always ready for a new musician on the scene, in this case Dalley and his self-titled EP.

It’s possible to hear hints of many other Omaha bands in Statistics, including Cursive’s emo-style rock, Mayday’s more folk material, and The Faint’s electronics. But somehow, Statistics doesn’t really sound like any of those, and this EP similarly doesn’t sound like a Desaperacidos rip-off. Five short songs in 15 minutes combine Dalley’s guitar prowess with his slick vocals, emo-style lyrics, and electronic moments to create something that’s catchy, slick, and quite promising. And live percussion added by Mike Sweeney (also an Omaha standby) helps flesh out some of the synthesized beats.

“Another Day” starts off with up-tempo guitars and fuzzed-out electronic keyboards, all under a very rock beat, before drifting into a catchy, hooky pop song that evokes images of The Jealous Sound. The electronic samples – providing a kind of hip-hop beat – provides a surprisingly soothing background to the acoustic guitars of “(A Memory),” and the pure hooks on “Hours Seemed Like Days” make the song irresistible, as much Texas is the Reason as Sugar. It’s a short, sub-three-minute song sure to grace many a mix-tape to come. All of the electronic beats, keyboards, and samples are piled onto the closer, “Cure Me,” which does evoke some similarities to a darker, gothic-style band (think Depeche Mode, perhaps), only Dalley’s acoustic guitar and soft (if distorted) vocals ground the song nicely.

You can’t really tell much about a musician or band from a debut EP; often they’re copping styles they’ve played before or heard before. The debut full-length is the real measure of worth, and a full-length from Statistics is due late this year. But if this EP is any indication, it’s going to be good. The electro-pop foundation for Statistics, coupled with nice vocals and strong guitarwork, promise something fresh and exciting. Don’t be fooled, however. All the electronics used here doesn’t mean this is something akin to The Faint or New Order; there’s no new- or no-wave to Statistics. This is pop music with a fresh approach, and I am buying into it wholeheartedly.

Statistics Interview

Discography:
S/T EP 2003

Other Credits:
Desaparecidos – Read Music, Speak Spanish CD 2002

Desa, Stats. Desa, Stats. Desa, Stats. You may know Denver Dally as the musical force behind Desaparecidos. You may know him Jade Tree’s nostalgic-dreamer Statistician. Though early in his career this interview may show he won’t be shaking either tag any time soon.

Without much to do musically because of Desaparecidos band-mate Conor Oberst maintaining his day job with Bright Eyes, Denver Dalley stepped out of the shadow of said indie star and started his own project, Statistics. He promptly found label support outside of Omaha on one of his two “favorite record labels of all time,” Jade Tree, and released a five-song EP, which introduced us to this prolific solo artist. Not a bad arrangement for a kid who previously had no experience fronting a band. Not bad at all.

As Dalley claims, Statistics is most definitely a solo project. It is a project that combines a fruitful combination of lush instrumentals with two-and-a-half-minute pop gems, gaining the interest of fans from a wide variety of backgrounds. With two full-lengths on the horizon (both Statistics and Desaparecidos) expect to see and hear from Dalley in more ways than one in the coming months. It promises to be an interesting ride.

30: Before you started your new project, Statistics, you were involved with Desaparecidos. This was your first band, correct?

Denver Dalley: Yeah, pretty much. I had played guitar in other bands, but just as kind of a like a sub. Desaparecidos was like my first real band.

30: How did that band come together?

Dalley: We all grew up together and have been friends for years. We all talked about playing together in different combinations and then finally we all just got together and that’s basically how we started.

30: You are kind of the main songwriter in Desaparecidos, correct?

Dalley: Yeah, I came up with most of the musical ideas and Conor [Oberst] would come up with all the lyrics. We’re working on a new album that we’re going to record in December and that has been more of a collaborative effort. The majority of the songs were written more as a band.

30: Are you more into the lyric writing on the new stuff then?

Dalley: No, the lyrics are always going to be Conor’s department. Just musically we were all involved a little more. It’s not just me being like, “Here’s a new song” you know.

30: Would you consider it to be as political as Read Music, Speak Spanish tends to lead on to be?

Dalley: I don’t know. I think that the whole thing with that album is that we were trying to do something that is more social than political. But given like the timing and everything it became more political. I guess certain people would argue that social is political or whatever, but I don’t know. I definitely feel strongly about all the things that we sing about, and definitely support getting the message out there.

30: Let’s talk a little about your new project, Statistics. What exactly do you consider it to be? How would you sum it up?

Dalley: Basically I had a downtime from Desaparecidos. I’m trying to really stay busy and music is really the only thing that I’m doing. Just to let you know I’m not working any jobs. Not to say I’m doing this because I needed something to do. Obviously, I was planning on just doing Desa and pursuing that. But with Conor having Bright Eyes – and obviously they’re doing quite well right now – I just had a lot of downtime. I was just coming up with more stuff that I liked and that was a little more synth’ier. And maybe a little more pop that wouldn’t quite fit as a Desa song. At the same time I was also trying out vocals because I’d never lead a band before. I mean in Desa I sing backups. I don’t know really. I guess it’s just kind of a side-project that has benefited me as a songwriter.

30: Would you consider it to be exclusively a solo project?

Dalley: Yeah. ‘Cause the EP I recorded pretty much exclusively by myself. Well, I did have a drummer sit in on a few tracks. I basically did it on my own. I’m gonna record the full-length in August and my live band is actually going to play on a few songs. But for the most part it’s just me in the studio.

30: Do you plan to work with Mike Mogis on the full-length as well?

Dalley: Actually I’m going to work with AJ Mogis on that one – try something different. I love [Presto!] and I love both the Mogis’, but I’ve wanted to work with AJ for a while and I’m pretty sure we’re going to do the new Desa record with Mike.

30: It seems to me like the Saddle Creek family is pretty close. I was just wondering why you decided to venture outside of Saddle Creek and have Jade Tree put out the Stats EP and upcoming full-length.

Dalley: Well, Jade Tree and Saddle Creek are definitely my two favorite labels of all time. I’ve just grown up with both of them. I was just kinda further getting the point out there that this is me on my own. You know, obviously with Desaparaecidos we got a lot of attention right off the bat because Conor was in the band. I definitely want people who listen to Desaparecidos to know that this is out there but I don’t want them thinking I’m depending on that. Basically I just thought it’d be good to try something different and try working with more people. Before I could only say I was label-mates with the bands that are on Saddle Creek, which is amazing as it is, but now I can say I’ve also got a different family – like two different families now. I can keep things constantly going with both projects and both labels, just kinda keep going back and forth.

30: Are you still based in Omaha?

Dalley: Actually, I just bounce between Nashville and Omaha. My family lives down in Nashville and the two guys that are my live band for Statistics live down in Nashville. But for the most part I’m based out of Omaha. Since I’ve been touring so much I really haven’t had a place anywhere for the last year or so. This winter I’m gonna finally get a place in Omaha and just kinda keep going back and forth.

30: Which band between Stats and Desa would you say you have enjoyed more?

Dalley: Um, that’s a tough call because Statistics is such a new thing. I’ve had a lot of great times out on the road with Desa and this is like our first tour with Statistics. I guess it’s different because I feel like Statistics is kind of more like I’m putting more of myself into the material. So, it’s kind of interesting to see what the response is to it whereas Desa is like a band band, this is more like a solo thing. I guess it’s honestly too early to tell. I’ve had a lot of great times with Desa and this is just the start of Statistics.

30: Fair enough. How has being a member of the very successful Desaparecidos carried over into Statistics?

Dalley: I’ve done tours with Desa, so I know what that’s like – I’ve gained a lot experience. I’m a little more savvy on like the business side of things. There’s a lot of people that obviously know Desa and are finding out about this, so that helps. I feel like everyone in this independent music circuit has at least two bands. I guess it’s a good reference point.

30: Have you had any shocking reactions from people that have heard Statistics?

Dalley: Well, not yet. The other night we were in Memphis and I was standing outside the club; all of a sudden I heard this car wreck and I walked up to see if everyone was alright – see if they needed to use my cell phone or anything. And this kid jumps out of the car and he’s wearing a Desaparecidos shirt and he was like, “Yeah, we were hurrying to come out to see the show.” I felt awful, so I gave him all this free merch. And luckily no one was hurt. I’m definitely seeing a lot of the same fans at the Desa shows.

So far I’ve had nothing but good things said about the project. Like no one has come up and said, “Man this sucks!” But that’d be cool too. I’d almost like that more. I’m always about hearing constructive criticism.

30: What would you say your outlook or goal was going into recording the debut EP?

Dalley: Well with Desa I kind of know what the other guys like, so I kinda know what type of stuff to come up with for them. Like when we first started that band I was coming up with all this weirder, slower stuff and the sound kind of morphed into what it is now. Now, with Statistics I’m the only person I have to satisfy, so there’s no limitations. And that’s why there’s the two instrumental songs on the EP. I love instrumental music and I’ve always wanted to find a way to present it in a way that it doesn’t get boring. I like to keep songs short too. I kind of have an attention problem when it comes to songs and shows. Keep it short and sweet and keep people interested. I was just making whatever sounded the best to me, so that was the fun thing about it.

30: Do you plan on doing more instrumental on the full-length?

Dalley: It’ll probably be like 2 or 3 instrumentals, but for the most part they’ll have vocals. I plan to mix it up with more rocking songs and then have ambient songs and such. A good mix between both.

30: Could you explain the inspiration behind the lyrical concept on “Hours Seemed Like Days” from the EP?

Dalley: I guess I though about all these bands that are trying to get this vintage-y kind of sound like the Strokes. Even like the new White Stripes album – like how a lot of these bands have these hotshot producers with the big Pro Tools rigs and they’re trying to get these sounds that were attainable years ago. And at the same time these producers years ago were trying to come up with this futuristic sound. I just thought it was a kind of interesting situation. Even though with all the technology we have today sometimes the analog is still the best sounding or best looking option. I guess it’s just about change and reminiscing about simpler times.

30: Is it hard to recreate live what you do in the studio?

Dalley: It was tough at first. I wasn’t sure how we were going to pull it off. We have a sampler that plays backing tracks, so that definitely helps; they’ll be just little atmospheric stuff that helps it sound like the recording. So, I guess we kinda cheat.

30: What were you listening to at age 17?

Dalley: I’ve always listened to the bands in Omaha, Cursive especially. Well before they were Cursive they were called Slow Down Virginia. I was still pretty heavy into Nirvana then. Who else? Archers of Loaf, the Pixies. That’s probably about it.

Statistics [I]Statistics[/I] Review

6 Out of 10
Promising. Heading up.

It comes as a bit of a relief that Denver Dailey has left behind his previous band, Desaparecidos, and branched out on his own as the Statistics. His invention and willingness to experiment, whilst not always successful, was the best thing about Desaparecidos; and now he has escaped the tiresome, self-pitying, acne covered lyricism of Bright Eyes singer songwriter Conor Oberst, you feel a twinge of hope for the guy.

With the exception of the drumming on three of the tracks, Dailey has performed all the music himself. The music is a mixture of electronic with rock guitar riffage. Certainly there are nods to Dntel (although nowhere near as minimalist), Smashing Pumpkins and mid-eighties New Order (this is especially clear on the third track, Hours Seemed Like Days), and Dailey likes to cram his influences into each song. Not that the E.P. becomes a sorry collage of his record collection, its structure and identity is clearly his own.

I felt that the two instrumental tracks, (A Memory) and (A Flashback) were the strongest. Unencumbered by words or vocals, there seems a greater willingness to experiment and the songs are better for it. Not all the right buttons are pushed, but this kind of eclecticism, when combined with more generic rock guitar is very welcome. Hopefully these type of tracks will not become mere interludes when the album is released later on this year.

Elsewhere on the E.P., Another Day is the best of the other tracks, really grabbing the listeners attention with its Interpol style electro-rock opening sequence, although its lyrics of small town boredom and stagnation : ‘Another day / Where everything’s the same / And nothing ever changes’ have been a little overdone, and unlike, for example Spoon’s Britt Daniel, does not add anything new to that genre.

Aside from its lyrical shortcomings, the E.P. leaves you with the impression that Denver Dailey is someone with a lot of potential, who could have a fine album out this winter.

Statistics [I]Statistics[/I] Review

Those who thought Bright Eyes was the only offshoot of the Desaparecidos collective can now get excited, for there is another. Statistics, like Bright Eyes, isn’t a carbon copy of Desa, but there are similarities that will lure fans in. Denver Dalley, the man behind Statistics, likes his big rock riffs and melodic cathartic workouts, but he also enjoys taking his music in different directions. This introductory EP (the debut album will be out late this year or early 2004) gives some insight into Dalley’s fondness for more complex arrangements. Using synths, programmed beats and glitches, Statistics may sound very different on paper, but Dalley’s use of such electronic gadgetry is controlled. Visions of Talk Talk and Radiohead’s recent foray into laptop noise appear, mainly in “Cure Me,” but not in an overwhelming manner. Alongside, there is plenty of indie rock to go around as “Hours Seemed Like Days” proves, showing that what Statistics has to offer is another fine chip off the old Omaha block.

Statistics [I]Statistics[/I] Review

Five synth based, yet passionate anthems.

Being rooted in the DIY scene of Omaha, NE and having played in bands such as Desaparecidos, Denver Dallas has finally launched his new project called Statistics. Basically this EP is a one man show without one hot wonders. All those five tracks can be used to relax with – but there is also more behind it. Interpreting a genre we know as synth-pop, Denver Dallas re-writes the structures to create something progressive. Music that fits into 2003 technocratic society. No need to dance, just sit back and relax. Nice.

Statistics [I]Statistics[/I] Review

I’ve got to hand it to Jade Tree. They’ve quickly developed a Midas touch for discovering interesting, intelligent artists. From Joan of Arc to Ester Drang, Paint it Black to Pedro the Lion,their roster is an unclassifiable catalog of really diverse, interesting music, and Statistics is a particularly wonderful little find. (It’s amazing how quickly they’ve shed that "emo" label tag, isn’t it?) Statistics is the teaser for a full-length album, so this is is but the beginning of the story.

Statistics is one fellow, Denver Dalley. You don’t know the name, do you? Probably not. But I’m pretty sure that if you know anything about indie-rock, then you’ll know that the band that he’s in, Desaparecidos, is led by indie-rock pretty boy and growing-older boy wonder Conor Oberst. Yeah, that’s right, Statistics is a band from Omaha. Forgive Dalley of that, simply because he’s actually good. It’s a good thing, too, that this record isn’t on Saddle Creek, because it’s certainly deserving of a better fate than that. What do I mean? Well, if this record were on Saddle Creek, it would never really rise above being anything but a "Bright Eyes-related side project," which would TOTALLY sell Dalley short. He deserves better, and hopefully he’ll get it with Jade Tree.

"Okay, okay, we know how you feel about Omaha, Joseph, but how does Statistics sound?"

Oh, I’m sorry, I got a bit off track there. Let’s get back to the subject at hand. If Oberst is magically turning into Rivers Cuomo as his audience grows younger and less interesting, then Dalley has deftly turned into Matt Sharp. Statistics is a dance through an electronica-based rock landscape, yet he’s clearly more ROCK than beats. He’s not trying to be the Faint or Broken Spindles; he’s working on a whole other sound. A sound that’s…um…how shall I say this…complicated yet commercial? Radio-friendly rock that’s complicated but has a new-wave streak yet is more in tune with what the kids, the target demographic is fond of? Just listen to "Another Day" or "Hours Seemed Like Days" and tell me that we’re not talkin’ college-rock radio hit here, folks. And, better still–this is the sound I have waited to hear, Dalley’s making cliched music GOOD again, and he’s doing it by actually focusing on the MUSIC, as opposed to being the pin-up model for the disenchanted high-school girl rebel and the college sophomores who love them. Who’d have thunk it?

This is a well-written, seamless little quarter-hour of moody, introspective and intelligent rock music, made by someone who is going to make a name of himself by stepping out from the shadows of Winona’s latest fling (not Dave Pirner–she only dates the current one-hit wonders). I’m eagerly awaiting Statistics’ debut album; if it’s anything like Statistics, then the days shall be worth the wait. Record of the year? Let’s hold off on that for right now, shall we? Best new band of 2003? Could be, kid, could be…

Statistics [I]Statistics[/I] Review

Statistics is the solo-band from Denver Dalley, who is best known as the founder, main songwriter and guitarist of Saddle Creek’s Omaha zietgeists Desaparacidos, which he fronts with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes. This "Self Titled" EP features five songs of rock, atmosphere music and in general, the best indie rock featuring electronic elements I heard in a long time. The music is sometimes melodic, sometimes noisy, but the most important thing is that this EP does not contain predefined music. The cover art ( not to mention, the music ), are not quite common, and songs like "Another Day", "Hours Seemed Like Days" are indie rock music at its finest. I really cannot get out of listening to this EP, I can’t wait to hear a full length album by this guy.

Statistics [I]Statistics[/I] Review

Since this seems to be the focal point, I’ll get it out of the way right now: Statistics is Denver Dalley’s (guitarist of Desaparecidos…you know, that Bright Eyes dude’s other band) solo project.  Anyways, the best way to describe these 5 songs is a sometimes awkward mix of ambient and electro-pop, though it meshes together quite well.  The EP kicks off nicely enough with the lively uptempo number "Another Day," full of synths, twinkly guitars, and breathy vocals, and then fades out tastefully premature around the three minute mark.  A few minutes of pretentious, hip, art noise and rambling occurs before the next track, which is essentially an ambient instrumental; "(A Memory)" starts up with a wind-like, repeating loop, which then eases into an almost hip-hop type beat, with some keys and repeating acoustic riffs throughout.  Since I’m a huge fan of ambient, I’d have to say this is probably my favorite track on the EP…and that acoustic melody is hard to get out of your head. The third song "Hours Seems Like Days" is a mediocre pop-rock songs with catchy guitar work and some distorted vocals.  It’s not bad, but could be better, and it’s a little too short. The mediocrity continues with "(A Flashback)," the epilogue to the first instrumental "(A Memory)." Again it’s not bad, but it just feels a bit empty. The slow, trance like "Cure Me" closes out the EP with it’s fine mix of acoustic guitars, ambient beats and whispered vocals, and succeeds in creating a rather melancholy vibe. Overall, it seems like Denver is still feeling things out, but this EP is a fine debut for him. Sure it kind of lags towards the end, but the first 2 songs alone make it worth obtaining. Any Desaparacedios fan should surely be interested in this as well. I’m assuming the full-length that is to be released later in the fall will have a better sense of completeness to it, I definitely know Mr. Dalley is capable of it.

Statistics [I]Statistics[/I] Review

Yet another member of the Saddle Creek family has found label support outside of Omaha. These people are starting to leave that close-knit family of 20-something Midwesterners in three’s. There was Joel Petersen of the Faint who broke away with his Broken Spindles last year. Then earlier this year Mayday went East for label support and recorded an album for Bar/None. Now, Denver Dalley, founder/main songwriter, and guitarist of the acclaimed-as-all-sin, Desaparecidos, which he co-fronted with Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst has found life outside of Saddle Creek, taking with him a mindful of ideas and a knack for crafting the pop.

Enter Statistics, a project which finds Dalley carrying on what he did best in Desaparecidos – writing catchy-as-fuck, introspective as all hell poppy rock songs. But, please, whatever you do, do not go into Statistics self-titled debut thinking you’ll get what Desaparecidos unleashed on the masses last year. There’s no post-9/11 lyricism going on here, or threats of burning down the recent housing development; hell, there’s hardly a hint of anger. Well, maybe a hint of depression and regret, but give the guy a break, he is from Omaha. So, what can you expect on Statistics entry into the indie rock world? How about five tracks of seemingly uncontestable electro-pop splendor? Yes, that works just fine, thanks.

Now, this EP needs to be listened to from start to finish to really grasp what Dalley is trying to convey – no, there’s not a concept here, just a very powerful flow that begs to be experienced. Think start/stop, start/stop, if that makes any sense at all.

Wasting no time, Dalley jumps into a bath of fuzz-filled undertones, slinky guitar parts, and shockingly beautiful vocal harmonies on the opener, ‘Another Day.’ It’s one of those tracks that you might want to throw on as a campfire gets lit and the 12 pack of beer sits patiently next to you waiting to be consumed. Yep, it’s bound to be a good night. As the pounding backbeat carries the track into its final chorus, it’s now time for the artsiness of Statistics to truly come out – and here’s where the electronics really swamp the speakers. It’s time to relax and let the fuzz guide the mind for a bit – not too long though – just long enough.

If you need more pop, Dalley waves the checkered flag with ‘Hour Seemed Like Days’ – a track that takes a trip through Dalley’s ramifications of growing up, the evolution of music and movie production, and even a mention of Claymation. ‘Let’s just press rewind,’ he thoughtfully exasperates as the track dissolves into yet another abyss of fuzz. You almost have to agree with him, really. The final two cuts on the EP serve as ideal closures to this tease into Dalley’s solo life style – presenting more haunting, spaced-out electronics and muddled vocals.

Ideally, this EP will serve as something to remember from this already persistent year in rock music. Perhaps, even more ideally, this EP will only be a start to what will be an even more memorable career for Denver Dalley – timing is on his side. It really is hard not to indulge in Statistics.

Statistics: Doing the Math

Denver Dalley is shopping for a van.

Seems the guitarist for Saddle Creek band Desaparecidos and now singer/songwriter for one-man show, Statistics, will need one sooner than he thought. With a new 5-song EP to be released on respectable indie label Jade Tree Records, Dalley plans on hitting the road with a new band and at the same time, take his career in a new direction.

“In just about every way, this release is a feat of independence,” Dalley said from his parents’ home in Nashville — his personal writer’s getaway — while he begins working on his full-length follow-up to his EP debut.

“I’m trying to break from the pattern,” he said. “I did the EP mostly by myself and then took it to Jade Tree instead of Saddle Creek Records. All the way around, it was a ‘getting out on my own’ sort of thing.”

Dalley 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 play again.”

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 possibilities.”

Though the CD isn’t slated for release until June 17 (though preorders are being taken at Jade Tree’s website starting next week), Dalley is already putting together a touring band that will include members of Omaha’s 1989 Chicago Cubs as well as some friends from Nashville. “Basically, the Cubs are going to be my backup band,” Dalley said. “If they have something recorded, both bands will be able to tour together.”

Dalley said Statistics will feature drums, bass, guitar and keyboards, with the Cubs’ Ryan Fox switching between guitar and keys. Dalley’s Nashville friends will fill in when Fox is out touring with his third band, The Good Life.

He’s already talked with Ground Control, the national agent who books a number of Saddle Creek bands, to help him book a tour, perhaps as an opening act. Plans call for a couple two- or three-week road stints this summer, followed by a lengthy national tour after the release of the Statistics full-length debut early next year. “That’s an idealistic plan, but I’m pretty determined,” Dalley said.

The only thing that stands in his way is the next Desaparecidos project, which doesn’t look to be happening anytime in the near future. “I know that everyone in Desa wants to get back together again, and we will at some point,” Dalley said, “but not anytime soon. Conor’s going on his next Bright Eyes tour and then to New York. It’s hard to imagine when we’re all going to be in the same place for any amount of time to really work on it.

“Both bands are top priorities for me, so I’ll do whatever it takes to make them both work. I’d rather have too much going on than too little.”