Confusions – Done Worse

The latest release from experimental indie band Confusions is “Done Worse.” It’s also the first in a series of singles that will be released as part of an upcoming album from the group. If the first track offers any foreshadowing, it’s that things are going to get even more weird than they did on 2021’s Grounds. And more layered.

The existential moans of the fiddle, a reverberating drone, and the erratic static clings are enough to make your skin crawl before building to an elegant outro. This particular Confusions collab is between the head of the band’s affairs, Ben Turner (vocals, synthesizers, effects treatment, percussion, sampling, field recording) and Brendan Youngquist (fiddle, percussion, effects treatment, field recording). Put one-and-one together and you get 140 seconds of experimental pop in a similar vein of the quirkiness of Dan Deacon and Prospect Hummer-era Animal Collective. It’s quite the moving track, at times having the power to make your skin crawl with its dissonant alarms. Although freak folk is one of the tags that appears on the song’s Bandcamp page, it also captures the major vibe of this crawling, festering track.

Done Worse (Youngquist and Turner) by Confusions

There are 14 lines of lyrics in this song, yet the depth of the words that Turner is pushing out with phrases like, “I let out a yell/Feared a useless patrol/I ran with a limp/And I ran through the dirt,” are directions deep enough to provide the sublot for a short film. The song even seems to spell out a tale of trespassing, with references to an old man with old land not being able to hear a leaf crunch and a distant, aloof police officer.” These incidents lead to the repeating phrase, “Don’t know what he’s done/But I know he’s done worse.”

While this track isn’t necessarily in the same sonic domain as Grounds, it’s still quite experimental for a Confusions record. It’s also pegged as the lead single for their new album, so it makes sense that there is a slight shift in artistic direction. While the debut was packed with exemplary examples of Turner honing in on his craft as an electronic musician, the vibe from this first release seems to be one belonging to a more coherent statement. We’ll see.

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