Even the percussion is pretty.
Darlingside’s “Everything Is Alive” achieves a melancholy-inducing beauty from the sum of its parts. That includes the quartet’s vocals, whether individually or in harmony, and arresting arrangements with chiffon textures that make a kick drum sound tender.
There’s variety thanks to the Boston-based band’s democratic approach – lead vocals are shared by all four members, as are writing credits. Don Mitchell evokes fire and rain contemplating mortality on “Darkening Hour,” and Auyon Mukharji’s tenor shines atop baroque strings on “Down Here,” which has the subtle sway of a courtly Sarabande. Harris Paseltiner offers “Green Light” as an Irish blessing paired with an intricate melody, while David Senft somehow creates an ethereal mood on “All the Lights in The City” even as he sings of boustrophedon.
Keep the dictionary handy: There are also lofty lyrics about a Robitussin dream and cerulean embrace, which perhaps is to be expected with a band from a college town. Recurring themes of loss and darkness, however, are plain enough.
“Lose the keys, the marbles, lose a parent, lose the count, lose the plot,” Mitchell laments on “Lose the Keys.”
Darlingside sings the blues with a lovely, inviting intimacy. These are songs made for bedroom headphones — good ones, not the cheap kind. “Everything Is Alive” is worth the investment. STEVEN WINE,MDT/AP