The music made by Boston-based quartet Darlingside is as hard to categorize as it is easy to get lost in. Guest-host Kathy Mattea said her first thought upon hearing the band's latest "Extralife" was "This is what the Beach Boys would sound like if they were friends with Enya and listened to lot of Paul Simon."
Combining electronic elements with banjo, mandolin, violin and cello, Darlingside's sound is inventive, imaginative and captivating. In this seven-song set, the group's four members pull off their intense sound with the most-audible of flying colors, featuring Auyon Mukharji on violin and mandolin, Don Mitchell on guitar and banjo, Dave Senft on guitar, bass and kick drum, and Harris Paseltiner on guitar and cello, with all four members adding vocals throughout.
Darlingside touches on two of its EPs, with "Heart Again" from their 2019 EP Look Up & Fly Away, and "Blow The House Down" which was included on Whipporwill, an EP of outtakes and rarities taken from the sessions of the group's debut album, 2015's Birds Say.
Everything from the cresting arrangements, to the sweeping harmonies, and the introspective lyrics will reward repeated listens, and the band's engaging performance is worth catching in person. By the time they get to the driving intro of "Best of the Best of Times," the air is filled with an energy that builds to a beautiful peak before the tension is ultimately released by the uproarious applause of approval from the live audience.
Darlingside are appearing at festivals throughout the summer with East-coast headlining dates scheduled through September.
- "Heart Again"
- "Hold Your Head Up High"
- "Blow The House Down"
- "Best of the Best of Times"