So here's something slightly unusual, and it's all relevant and up to date too, given the EP was released just last Friday. They're called Darling Darlene, and they're a duo formed during a '3 month getaway to the Danish countryside', which is a little different for starters given almost every other mail I've received recently seems to involve a cabin in a Norwegian forest. Actually that reminds me, what happened to Mirel Wagner's mouse? Or maybe I should ask first, what happened to Mirel Wagner?
The duo consists of Christian Popp and Johan Skjold, and unlike yesterday neither of them plays centre back for an English football team, but they do have a slightly leftfield approach to songwriting and production, as 'Lost at the Movies' demonstrates. It's kind of retro in some ways, but mostly just laid back alt pop, creating sketchy images in my mind of old family holidays by the seaside. Not that I ever recollect going on holiday to the seaside, but it's certainly not creating images of walking up and down Welsh mountains in the drizzle, which is what I do remember.
Anyone still with me? 'Dark Shades' opens, and there's a lot going on here, a striking synth theme, a plaintive vocal melody, leading to fuzzy soft synths and the highlight for me, the instrumental section which ends the track. 'I Wish for a Rose' is reflective and languid, quite appealing, whilst the curious and clever 'Something's in the Woods' leaves me considering what is actually in the woods, which I guess means that it's successful. Meanwhile 'Someone you're not' was released as a single, and it's probably the most straightforward, by which I mean it has lovely tune and therefore makes people want to listen again - hence why it's gathered a good collection of plays on streaming services. 'The Elephant Man' has more of an indie feel with actual guitars, a catchy chorus and it really works for me, whilst 'Mari' ends, and for some reason as the track develops I'm reminded in the instrumentation of Jellyfish, which of course is always a good thing.
Anyway on a positive note this has been on a loop all day in my house, not because I like it quite that much, but because I went to work yesterday and accidentally left it on upstairs, which means I've added about 10 Spotify cents to to the coffers of the Darling Darlene songwriters. To be honest I'm not sure that I could listen for 10 hours continuously, the deliberately harsh production would probably start to irritate after a while, but I like what these guys are trying to do, with an interesting mix of ideas, instrumentation and production, and some pretty decent melodies thrown in for good measure.