For the better part of the past month, I’ve spun “Birds Say,” the sophomore studio album from Massachusetts four-piece Darlingside, at least once a day … and often many more times than that. I can’t get enough of their vocal harmonies and pitch-perfect blend of classic folk and indie rock. Amazingly, every time I listen to the record I seem to find something new to enjoy about the 13-track slab.
The band is comprised of vocalists/multi-instrumentalists Don Mitchell, Auyon Mukharji, Harris Paseltiner and David Senft. Each song is composed and recorded in what Darlingside call “group voice,” with the four principals gathered around a lone microphone. That approach helps make “Birds Say” one of my favorite albums of 2015.
The opening one-two-three punch of “The Ancestor,” “White Horses” and “Harrison Ford” sets the tone and lures listeners right into Darlingside’s sonic web. The lads additionally hit all the right notes on keepers “Go Back,” “My Gal, My Guy,” the title track, “Water Rose,” “She’s All Around” and “Volcano Sky.” Truth be told, there isn’t a clunker to be found on this sublime release. Here’s hoping Darlingside will be rolling through Pittsburgh in the very near future. (Jeffrey Sisk)