The band entered the studio with Jeff Curtin of Small Black in 2009(who had worked previously on Vampire Weekend’s self-titled album) to record their debut. The album mixes the Appalachian and Alt-Country sounds they were known for with rockabilly and rock and roll sensibilities. The first single from the album, “Red Light Love” would be used in a national commercial for the Kia Sorento.
In support of their self-titled album, the band toured alongside a number of more rock acts, such as Dr. Dog, The Features, The King Khan & BBQ Show, and JEFF the Brotherhood.
After touring together behind their debut album, the band asked long-time drummer Linwood Regensburg to join the band as an official member and songwriting partner. They began work on their second album Screws Get Loose. Each song bears the scars of the highs and lows they’ve soldiered through together on the road, accentuating the realities of growing up in a rock and roll band.
This collection of songs reveals the Darlins’ road-weary and hardened spirits as the full-throttle charge of their freewheeling early anthems, such as “Red Light Love” and “Wild One,” has faded into the clarity and the life lessons of , “Let You Down,” “Be Your Bro,” and the album’s title track. In “Be Your Bro,” Jessi sings “I just wanna be your brother, you just wanna be my boyfriend. I just wanna run and play in the dirt with you, you just wanna stick it in.” It’s the kind of lyric that any woman can relate to, and the kind of writing that tells a story with just enough detail to make your mind fill in the blanks and make it your own. But the album’s true tone culminates in the distant yearning of “Waste Away”: “What happened that makes you wanna go face first into the ground? What happened to me that I keep followin’ you around?”
The band re-enlisted producer Jeff Curtin (Small Black) and headed down to Atlanta, GA to record Screws Get Loose with engineer Ed Rawls at his Living Room Studio (Black Lips, Jacuzzi Boys). While the band’s country punk nature is still evident, the Southern roots that shine through are more in line with the dirty South garage rock blasting out of Memphis, Atlanta, and Nashville in recent years. Haunting and hook- laden numbers such as “Hives,” “Tina Said,” and “BUMD” tussle with the confessional weight of other songs, like “Waste Away” and “Let U Down.” Stylistically, the band has created a range of sounds: “Boy” is reminiscent of Spector’s summery girl pop, “Mystic Mind” is a fully-realized stoner jam, and “$” is a lesson on the slippery nature of money sung in an infestation of gang vocals.
These songs show that life on the road is no place for the faint of heart. So, naturally, songs take shape with bold narratives, strong voices, and full-bodied performances that are no less vibrant than previous offerings, but are a little less naïve. Maturity and experience combine to open up wholly new dimensions for Those Darlins. But that doesn’t mean they have forsaken the spirit of fun and frivolity that has come to define them.
In February 2012, Those Darlins announced that founding member Kelley Anderson would be leaving the band to “pursue other musical projects and professional ventures.” She would eventually be replaced by bassist Adrian Barrera, who had toured with the band previously while a member of Gentlemen Jesse & His Men.
In early 2013, Those Darlins returned to the studio to work on their third album, this time recording in their hometown of Nashville with producer Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo, John Cale, JEFF the Brotherhood). Before officially announcing the album, the band hung up a banner of the cover art, which features the nude legs and torsos of the four members of the band, in front of Nashville record store Grimey’s New & Preloved Music. Local Fox News affiliate WZTV ran a story on the offensive nature of the banner, which then caused controversy among those concerned with the display of the image on a well-trafficked street. The band took credit for the image but claimed that the controversy it sparked was unintentional.
Soon after, Paste Magazine announced that band’s third album Blur The Line would be release on October 1, and shared videos for the first two singles, “Oh God” and “Optimist”. SPIN called Blur The Line “tough and seductive” while Blurt said that “songwriting/arranging this masterful elevates Blur The Line to modern-classic status.”
Edited by night_jogger on 24 Mar 2014, 09:53
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