Darlingside “Fish Pond Fish” (Thirty Tigers, 2020)

Darlingside are all about four-part harmonies around a swirl of string arrangements. Whether studio album or performing live that is how they have honed their unique sound described as “baroque folk”. If that sounds rather abstract then blend early Crosby, Stills & Nash with Fleet Foxes. As the four Boston based musicians were tying up their their third album the pandemic struck sending them home to finish by virtual collaboration. The result is ‘Fish Pond Fish’, a magnificent work that takes their mix of sonic exploration and harmonies to a completely new level. Continue reading “Darlingside “Fish Pond Fish” (Thirty Tigers, 2020)”

Darlingside “Green + Evergreen” – Listen

When the Editor rushes in, slaps the press release in front of you and yells “Clear the front pages, Darlingside have a new release” what can one do but clear the front pages?  Not that it’s a chore – we think Darlingside are just Darling, and we’re sure as hell on their Side (get it?).  Continue reading “Darlingside “Green + Evergreen” – Listen”

Darlingside return with new album “Fish Pond Fish”

The lovely indie-folk quartet who call themselves Darlingside have announced the release of their new album ‘Fish Pond Fish’ which comes out on Thirty Tigers on October 9th.  The record is the follow up to the band’s 2018 ‘Extralife’, and where that album contemplated uncertain futures, the new one finds Darlingside firmly in the present, taking stock of what is here and now – and let’s face it, there’s a lot to take stock of. Continue reading “Darlingside return with new album “Fish Pond Fish””

Darlingside “Ocean Bed” – Listen

Here’s the good news that you’ve been waiting for all year – the return of Darlingside with a new single ‘Ocean Bed‘.  Darlingside celebrated their 10th anniversary as a band in May  – and if we were a little slow to pick up on them on this side of the pond hopefully we’ve made up with our continued adulation for one of the finest baroque-folk-chamber-pop bands there is. Continue reading “Darlingside “Ocean Bed” – Listen”

Henry Jamison “I Forget Myself” – Listen

When Henry wrote ‘ Forget Myself’ about an ex-partner, he couldn’t imagine that 12 months later he’d be moving back in with her just in time for quarantine. It  finds Henry trying to discover a sense of self, hopelessly attempting to remember everything from birth through to meeting her to take accountability for his part in the break-up. Continue reading “Henry Jamison “I Forget Myself” – Listen”

AUK’s editor chooses his favourite 10 tracks from 2019

2019 – what a f-king year (and that word is being censored for you daily digest readers). Sometimes music was the only respite there was from the sheer abject misery and terror of the outside world. Sometimes nestling down with a mug of cocoa and some good americana was the only thing that blotted it all out (spiced up with about 5 shots of vodka). These are the ten songs that kept my sanity intact throughout the last 12 months. Continue reading “AUK’s editor chooses his favourite 10 tracks from 2019”

Darlingside, Cecil Sharp House, Camden, London, 21st November 2019.

The English Folk Dance and Song Society are based in Cecil Sharp House, a large yet somewhat unassuming building in a quiet back street of Camden, North London. Opened in 1930, it is named after the English folk dance and song collector Cecil Sharp (1859-1924) and hosts a consistently high quality programme of music events, including courses and classes, lectures and conferences, visual art exhibitions and live performances by some of the very best artistes currently active on the ‘roots’ music scene. Continue reading “Darlingside, Cecil Sharp House, Camden, London, 21st November 2019.”

Darlingside “Look Up & Fly Away” (More Doug/Thirty Tigers, 2019)

Darlingside’s latest release is an EP of outtakes from 2018’s ‘Extralife.’ It’s fair to say though that any of the songs on ‘Look Up & Fly Away’ would have been well-deserving of a place on that album. This is an exceptionally delicate listen; the intricate wording and stories in the songs are like a peek into someone’s private life, into their passing through life and beyond. It feels a little intrusive at times, but ultimately you feel lucky to have been allowed into something so special. Continue reading “Darlingside “Look Up & Fly Away” (More Doug/Thirty Tigers, 2019)”

Darlingside + Wildwood Kin, Shepherds Bush Empire, 1st November 2018

Only the occasional faint clanging of the bar can be overheard whilst Darlingside play. The audience are fittingly pin drop silent to embrace all the intricacies the band offer. Huddled up shoulder tight to harmonize around a single vintage condenser microphone, the result is quite magnificent. Over the course of the evening, banjos, fiddles and upright bass are swapped by this multi instrumentalist Boston four piece and whilst that all may sound – so far – so bluegrass – this they are not. As evidence there’s the second song of the night, ‘Eschalton’, aided by loops and notes via a small keyboard sequencer plus some Peter Hook like Rickenbacker bass riffs. There’s more than a sprinkling in the set of their 2018 LP ‘Extralife’. A perhaps more brooding affair than previous releases which they explain as some of the album being written whilst on recent UK visits as they were looking back toward their homeland. “It’s over now, the flag is sunk, the world has flattened out” they sing on ‘Extralife’. Then there’s “Tomorrow’s beginning to take, an equal and opposite shape” from ‘Orion,’ performed whilst a simple spinning mirror ball works a perfect sky gazing ambience. For the stillness of ‘Hold Your Head Up High’ even the dry ice appears to hang onstage without movement. Continue reading “Darlingside + Wildwood Kin, Shepherds Bush Empire, 1st November 2018”