The Tragically Hip – Day For Night

Day For Night is a film technique wherein filters or underexposure are used to make a movie scene shot in daylight or a well-lit studio a little darker, to make it look like it was shot at night. It is also title of The Tragically Hip’s fourth album; easily the darkest in their canon.

Compared to other Hip albums, the songs on “Day for Night” definitely have a darker feeling. The deep, moody bass lines are more dominant and the guitars are more sustained and droning. Gord Downie’s lyrics, as always, emphasize multiple layers of interpretation, but here convey a slightly more somber, sometimes more aggressive quality than on The Hip’s earlier records.

The Tragically Hip are not inherently a dark band and “Day for Night” is not by any means a dark album. But it is dark for The Hip, and that is what makes it one of their most intriguing albums. “Day for Night” is an album that exposes The Hip through a filtered lens; one that gives the listener a chance, if only for 80 minutes or so, to trade in their day for night.

When I started rebuilding my vinyl collection I knew Tragically Hip records would find their way into it at some point. What I didn’t know was that I would run across a great deal on a box set that included all 14 of their albums on vinyl. The box set also came with a poster and a turntable matt that has the band’s logo on it, including their gargoyle mascot.