Music you should hear: The O’Darling (clementine?)


We’ve really been getting lucky in the inbox lately (no, that was not a sexual reference), this time from The O’Darling, a female-fronted, six-piece Canadian (specifically, Toronto) troupe.

The O’Darling is comprised of Jennah Barry (vocals, piano, accordion and glock), Ida Mainstone (vocals, piano, glock), Chantel Emond (vocals – if you can’t tell there’s a lot of vocals going on, percussion), Olivier Clements (trumpet, flugel), David Barry (guitar), and Colin Nealis (upright bass). That’s a lot of instruments. And somehow, The O’Darling manages to make it all work.

I can’t really place The O’Darling into any musical category for you – they are nothing and they are everything at the same time. They have no specific genre, yet they appeal to many. Indie, Pop, Jazz, Folk, Classical, you name it and The O’Darling accomplishes it (not screamo though, sorry guys…).  As you can see, the achingly beautiful vocals are from all females, and three of them at that. The sophisticated, dissonant harmonies are nothing short of celestial, as each woman brings something different to the table – they go high, they go low, they mellow. If it wasn’t for such a full, coherent sound behind them, you may forget you’re listening to more than just dreamy voices. The most prominent instruments on display for The O’Darling, without letting the others fall off the map, seem to be the piano and the trumpet (from Olivier – such a proper name, fitting for such a proper group.)

When I listen to The O’Darling’s, A Nice E.P., released in 2007, I imagine a wistful story unfolding in front of me – one that spirals its way through the woods, with little kids following a path that gradually falls out from beneath them, causing them to disappear. And then I realize, they were never really there at all. But their spirit lives within the music. BTW, I’m not high.

The O’Darling – “Woods Waltz” [MP3] (worthy of my highest possible recommendation)

The O’Darling – “Mooncat” [MP3] (alternate link here – left click)

The O’Darling – “Bubble” [MP3] (alternate link here – left click)

(The O’Darling are in the process of recording their first full-length album set to be released sometime this, 2009, spring/summer.)

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