Possibly the least well-known band on this year’s list, Darlings is a Brooklyn-based four-piece that sounds pretty much exactly how you always wanted your high school garage band to sound. They’re surprisingly impressive on a technical level, with all sorts of meandering guitar melodies and interesting interplay between instruments. The recording is far from polished, but it’s got this perfect level of fidelity that keeps things clear enough but also seems to say, “We could have made this sound better, but we didn’t feel like it, you fucking square.” They call to mind a sloppier Teenage Fanclub or Sloan at times, with whimsical melodies that feel completely timeless. Then, out of nowhere, they turn into a loud, screamy rock band, like early Replacements or the Jason Lowenstein contributions to Sebadoh, or maybe even… Nirvana? Basically, they’ve held onto the idea that this whole music thing was always supposed to be fun because you get to bang on shit really, really hard — it just so happens they bring an awful lot of other stuff to the table as well.
When did the band form?
Where was your first NYC show?
147 Bleecker St. It was Matt and Joe’s apartment at the time.
What’s the most/least you’ve ever been paid for a local show? Venues not necessary, but you’re encouraged to share. We played a packed show not long ago in Fort Greene that apparently none of the bands got paid at. One time we played a show on the Lower East Side and we made like $250. We even got taken to this secret room that looked like a VIP coke den to get paid. It was impressive.
For what NYC band would you sacrifice your spot on this list? Must name one, lest you seem selfish.
Boogie Boarder, The Sundelles or The Tony Castles.
Is there a current trend in the NYC music scene which you find particularly irritating? One you find inspiring or meaningful?
Rooftop and any outdoor shows in the warm seasons are great. Hopefully we get to play some of those soon.
Do you ever consider moving the band to another city?
We’ve been hearing that it’s a real buyer’s market right now in Detroit. You can buy a house for like $100 or something because people have been abandoning them and getting the fuck out of Detroit.