One of the things to come out of SxSW this year was an avalanche of chatter about an all girl trio from Murfreesboro, TN, Those Darlins. As I’ve said before, I tend to avoid heavily hyped bands for the most part, but I finally gave in and asked for a copy of their self-titled debut.
Those Darlins are Kelley Darlin (bass), Jessi Darlin (guitar) and Nikki Darlin (baritone ukulele), with everyone sharing vocal and writing duties. They make a sound that is a mashup of punk, rock, country, garage and drunk back porch sing song.
My first experience with their sound was a single song in a PR emailing and to be honest, I wasn’t sure what the hype was all about, but after hearing the entire album I finally “got it”. As an album, Those Darlins really is greater than the sum of it’s parts. I don’t mean that as a slight on the album, ’cause I really do think it’s a great cd, but I don’t think hearing a single song is a good way to experience these girls for the first time. Furthermore, you have to listen to the entire album before you can really form any sort of opinion on the cd. See, there are cds out there with better songwriting, there are cds out there with better mixing and there are even cds out there with better singing, but almost none of them will be a better cd. There’s just something freakishly infectious about these girls and their songs. They’re having a blast and that simple fact comes through the speakers in spades and you can’t help but to tap your feet and sing along.
So, believe the hype. These girls are worthy of it. They’re also worthy of being labeled Essential Listening.