Locals Only: Darynyck

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Usually bands work on an album for a few months - or a few years - then celebrate its release and move on to the next project.

Darynyck, the songwriting partnership between Darrin Wesenberg and Nick Cantello, has taken a less-than-conventional route toward the release of their debut, The Sasquatch Sessions. They recorded for five years, let the music sit for three more, then finally released it last spring. Now, a year later, they're releasing it again.

"It's two discs," Wesenberg said. "Why not have two releases?"

The duo struck up a musical partnership during their high school years in the Toledo suburb Sylvania. They screwed around with multi-track recordings on a boombox before Wesenberg headed to the University of Dayton and Cantello enrolled at Ohio State.

"A good yin and yang of it is Darrin's more technical and theoretical, and I'm more on the side of improv and simplistic going with the flow," Cantello said.

Throughout college, the pair got together frequently to record their collaborations in bathrooms, basements, closets and cars, cranking out dozens of straight-laced pop tunes in the vein of the Beatles' "Good Day Sunshine." Upon graduation, they came back home and began playing at open-mics, adopting the name Darynyck so they'd have something for their MySpace page.

It wasn't until they relocated to Columbus in 2006 that they started to branch out into honest-to-God gigs. At that point they began to think about emptying the vaults and releasing their large backlog of recordings.

The Sasquatch Sessions was ready for release early last year, so when fellow Columbus popsters Yummy Fight invited Darynyck to share a bill with them, it also functioned as a release party.

There was little fanfare for the occasion, though; in many ways, it was just another show. So Wesenberg decided to celebrate Sasquatch one more time before unveiling a collection of newer tunes later this year on local label Champions of the Arts - hence Friday's proper release show at the Scarlet & Grey Cafe.

The Sasquatch Sessions is relentlessly poppy and willfully simple. Cantello and Wesenberg have a framed copy of the first song they ever scrawled together, an admittedly "cheesy" ditty called "Happy Times."

Since then, they've focused more on mastering the art of pop hooks and harmonies, forgoing experimentation in favor of universal appeal. Songs like "People Get Together" and "Babygirl" are as basic and direct as they sound.

"The lyrics are definitely not mysterious or ambiguous in any way," Wesenberg said. "From my standpoint, the lyrics should be something people can relate to."

Despite the pop mind-set, Sasquatch plays like the collection of polished demos it is. The peek into a band's private past will resonate with the legion of bedroom maestros who, like Darynyck, found escape by pouring their creative energy into a laptop computer.

"I never expected to do more than open-mics," Cantello said. "It's just satisfying to be acknowledged, at least."

E-mail local music news to Chris DeVille at cdeville@columbusalive.com


When: 10 p.m. Friday, April 24

Where: Scarlet & Grey Cafe, Campus

Web: myspace.com/darynyck