Darlingside isn’t shy about their crush on the 1960’s. If we’re being frank, the opening track “The Ancestor” from Birds Say could easily have found its way onto Brian Wilson’s Beach Boys masterpiece Pet Sounds. Like Wilson, the band brings to the table an understanding of instruments that most never possess. Heavily trained in cello and violin, the strings flawlessly intermingle with a wall of blended vocals and powerful Americana-rooted structures.
Although Darlingside is a serious contender for album of the year, their clever, tongue-in-cheek writing style keep them from taking themselves too seriously. Rambling in harmony throughout the crafty “Harrison Ford”, Darlingside channel a humor reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound Of Silence”.
With each of Birds Say‘s thirteen songs edging near excellence, ranking the tracks borders on unreasonable. However, one tune specifically has wedged its way into my heart like no other. “White Horses” is my vote for 2015’s Americana’s song of the year. With a hint of Sufjan Stevens’ indie-folk storytelling, Andrew Bird’s string section, and Bon Iver’s storytelling merged into one, the track spotlights everything that makes Darlingside so beautiful. The vocals blend flawlessly over the banjo and strings combination, which is accentuated perfectly by piano. Spectral and distinctive, the song swells around the listener, raining down in an all-encompassing manner, slowly and indirectly, like dust from an attic fan that hasn’t been used in years. Coupled with entirety of the album, Birds Say manages to coat itself in everything.
Snag Birds Say here: http://www.darlingside.com/store/