Darlingside - Look Up and Fly Away EP (22/02/19)
Release Date: 22nd February, 2019
Record Label: More Doug Records
It’s always very exciting when one of our favourite US quartets release new music. ‘Look Up And Fly Away’ the brand new EP from Darlingside has come as both a surprise and at the same time a special treat.
The EP is comprised of six songs selected from a handful of outtakes from the band’s highly acclaimed 2018 album Extralife. The EP showcases once again Darlingside’s seamless harmonies, unique skill as multi-instrumentalists and intricate songwriting. It shares some similar themes to ‘Extralife’ including exploring nostalgia and the different stages of life and ultimately the concept of death.
The EP starts with the reflective ‘Rodeo’. Super songwriting, elegant harmonies, a soft horn arrangement and lightly picked acoustic guitars. Lyrics like “The clerk is a man behind glass, behind his eyes is the past” conjure dreamlike images of nostalgia. The theme of nostalgia continues in ‘Bright as the Day’ as they recount his past younger days. Bright accordion, mournful fiddle and acoustic guitars combine with their trademark harmonies.
Next up is the title track, the self-empowerment hymn ‘Look Up And Fly Away’. It reminded me of a cross between the Beatles and CSNY. With themes including ‘sunny skies’ and ‘fighting for myself’, and ‘finding your place in life’. It has a very positive tone and lifts the overall mood of the EP.
The pace slows down again with the orchestrated and layered ‘Heart Again’, which drifts between solo vocals and heavenly harmonies. I love the richness of the chorus. Things change up again with the wonderful ‘Paradise Bay’, one of the stand outs on the EP. It opens nearly as an acappella song with an underlying drone. The crisp retro harmonies sounding like classic CSNY. The short final track ‘Untitled’ is a simple instrumental that closes out what is an extremely strong collection of music.