Canadian session musicians collective carve their own path.
When lockdowns happened across the world, it was a no-brainer that artists were going to get hit. Many of them did online live sessions, made isolation albums and found a way to make things work. But what about the session musicians who had nowhere to turn? The answer? Form your own band! Hello Darlins is a section of Canadian session musicians, the so-called “the Broken Social Scene of Americana”, trying their hand at songwriting.
While they had floated the idea for some years, vocalist Candace Lacina and her producer Mike Little struck out in earnest their own when they had no bands to work for and were quickly joined by others. They have had a cannon of four singles and now have released their debut album ‘Go by Feel‘ for public consumption. Between them, they play a healthy cross selection of country and folk instruments, with Candace doubling as keyboards, and the production is slick and warm.
The four singles ‘Catch That Train‘, ‘Aberdeen’, ‘Prayer for a Sparrow’ and ‘Still Waters‘ carefully showcase different musical styles, vocals, and instruments and this is done well. Lyrically, ‘Never Get Over You‘ could have been written by a country music algorithm with keywords “heartache” and “drinking”, yet somehow it is the album’s highlight. It goes to show how far musical talent and good production can get you.
The question remains as to whether this union will continue past Covid or if this was a creative way of getting exposure and attention, a CV if you will, as they have shown: songwriting is hard, and bands need leadership. Hello Darlins can play three chords but have not explicitly told us the truth.