Darlings: Feel Better

With an album packed with sunshine melodies and killer slacker vibes, what’s not to love?

Darlings’ second full-length album, Feel Better, is packed with sunshine melodies and killer slacker vibes. This is hands down one of my favorite recent releases. In fact, it may just be my music taste summed up in ten tracks (though that might be an overstatement).

This Brooklyn based band has quite the sunny West Coast disposition. Their vibes are very reminiscent of the definitive 90s slacker band, Pavement, but with a more modern slacker accessibility similar to Mac DeMarco. Their music is both upbeat and relaxed simultaneously. Not only is this album well crafted, but also radio friendly (as in accessibility, though it’s also clean).

Each track is unique yet connected with Peter Rynsky’s deadpan vocals. The first track, “Centuries of Light,” kicks off the album with a groovy summer riff. It’s similar to the guitar melodies of the Allah-Las. It has a wonderful head-bobbing beat that gives off a strong West Coast feel. The next track, “From Up Above,” is one of the best tracks. It switches to a more soothing relax tone with harmonies from Maura Lynch. The guitar is just as catchy as the first track. What really sets this track apart from the others are the synths.  You have to give it a listen to completely understand.

The album pick up pace with the third track, “Gardone,” which has early Pixies Black Francis vibes, but just in the vocals. My other favorite track, “Mein the Sky,” is wonderfully mixed. The vocals reminds my of the vocal style of Kimya Dawson, while the bass reminds me of Silversun Pickups’ Nikki Monninger and the guitar has a very Real Estate sounding effect. The track that follows, “Bonding,” has a bouncy tune with the same great guitar melodies.

The most popular song on the album, “I Love You Too,” has more complexities than the other tracks. It has a more in depth mix of more diverse instrumentations. “Strap” switches from a surf rock feel to a 90s alternative influence and back again. “Av Community Events” is just as catchy and jangly. The last two tracks, “Always Remember” and “Side Spray” end the album on a sweet note. “Always Remember” is poppy and charming with rad lyrics that make for a great goodbye. “ “Side Spray” has a moving melody that will make your head bob. This already amazing album ends strong.

The Darlings are just as darling as their name suggests. They are interesting, fun, and kings and queens of slacker music. Play this album over and over.

Recommended Tracks: “Mein the Sky,” “From Up Above,” “I Love You Too,” and “Always Remember”

Recommended if you like: Pavement, Mac Demarco, Warm Soda, Alah-Las, Pixies,

Reviewed by Rachel on February 20, 2015

KJHK 90.7 FM