Jim Nelson https://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/rss Turn Me On: Darlingside https://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-darlingside/ <p><strong>Darlingside</strong> used to have a drummer. But he sort of got in the way. Not in the spatial sense of “got in the way”; rather, in the aural sense. Basically you had these crisp, air-tight, laser-locked voices—four of them, pretending to be one—struggling to appropriately comingle with the drums. No need for a caucus to tabulate that four voices beat a lone drummer every time, so after a 2012 self-released CD the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based band reduced its number by one.</p> <p> </p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MZo-xK4Dens?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>Now, whenever these Williams College grads sing together onstage or in the studio you’ll find multi-instrumentalists Dave Senft, Don Mitchell, Auyon Mukharji, and Harris Paseltiner huddled in a semi-circle ’round a shared microphone; every song is written by all four of them, so singing in unison is an extension of the way they write. With hues of ’60s folk, chamber pop, bluegrass, and even classical, organically played on rootsy instruments led by acoustic and 12-string electric guitars, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, cello, and bass, and colored with Wurlitzer, auto-chord organ, piano, and harmonium, Darlingside’s music resides not in the here and now, but smack dab in ’60s and ’70s Laurel Canyon.</p> <p> </p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WCLkOAQxumI?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>For their sophomore release, Birds Say, Darlingside holed up in a Boston studio and together with engineer/co-producer Dan Cardinal created a 13-song treasure that boasts oodles of grace and style, and a maturity rare in a recording career so young. Written, Mitchell says, as they reflected on their “childhoods, our transition into adulthood together, and the complexities of life that we all have to grapple with now,” Birds Say mostly belies the clever and witty personalities these guys effortlessly present onstage; for a peek into that cleverness, look at their name, Darlingside. What is that? It’ll hit you when you blend the suffix cide, meaning killer or the act of killing in words like pesticide and insecticide, with the “kill your darlings” advice given to fledgling writers—i.e., if you fall in love with a word or line that you’ve written, kill it to prevent overuse. Darlingside, then, is shrewdly a softer spelling of Darlingcide.</p> <p><a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/category/turn-me-on/" target="_blank">See more Turn Me On at Rock Cellar Magazine</a></p> Fri, 27 May 2016 11:43:37 -0700 https://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-darlingside/ Turn Me On: Kaleo https://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-kaleo/ <p>We was fooled by <strong>Kaleo</strong>. Set up the way a pool shark tones it down before mercilessly blindsiding you with mad skills. When the four-piece Icelandic band snuck into the U.S. consciousness late in 2014 with “All the Pretty Girls,” a gentle acoustic lament on romantic loneliness, the set-up was under way.</p> <p>In 2015, “Way down We Go” took the moodiness and intensity up a notch from “All the Pretty Girls” so we probably should have seen the surprise coming. And then Kaleo relocated to the musical hotbed of Austin and started playing concerts in America, and Bam! That’s when we knew we’d been had. This unknown from a faraway land, this Kaleo, was a force so much more epic than anticipated. We were slapped upside the head by this masterfully performed explosion of blues and rock and twin guitar attacks and sheer mass of sound, the heavy dark side balanced with occasional whimsy and whispery softness.</p> <p>So yeah, we was fooled by Kaleo. Snookered. Lured right into their trap. And it was transcendent.</p> <p> </p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9WIU5NN1Q0g?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>Kaleo—it’s Hawaiian for the voice or the sound—was started by three friends from grade school in Mosfellsbaer, a small town in southwest Iceland commonly known as “the green town.” Singer/guitarist JJ Juliusson, drummer David Antonsson Crivello, and bassist Danny Jones were 17 at the time, and after a few years of gigging in nearby Reykjavik they added guitarist Rubin Pollock in 2012.</p> <p>By early 2013 they were getting a little love from radio and the press back home, and by the end of that year they’d had a #1 single and signed to the nation’s largest record label. Before you could say Bob is Bob spelled backwards, they’d soared to phenomenon status in their homeland, propelled by five #1 singles. It was time for America.</p> <p> </p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FNwgOkl5nRY?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>Kaleo expects to have their still-in-progress first US full-length release out later in 2016, to join the All the Pretty Girls EP and a pair of singles already available in the states. On it, Kaleo will exhibit the depth and chops on display in the disparate styles of songs like the probably-recorded-at-the-crossroads guitar workout “No Good” (from the HBO series Vinyl) and the frolicking, California-centric “Automobile,” which would just kill as an otherworldly singalong with Kaleo, Louis Armstrong, Roger Miller, and Lou Rawls.</p> <p>Let the anticipation begin.</p> <p><a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/category/turn-me-on/" target="_blank">See more Turn Me On at Rock Cellar Magazine</a></p> Mon, 23 May 2016 11:51:29 -0700 https://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-kaleo/