Darling James returns with the first taste of new music he’s been constructing with teaser track ‘Didn’t Get It Right’. The Melbourne based artist, aka James O’Brien, flirts with melancholy on a track ornamented with sweeping synth, the lilting strings of a Zither and his clear, distinct vocal delivery.
On his first release in 18 months, Darling James poses the question “Have you ever kept a tally of everything you’ve said but didn’t mean to?”. Partly confronting, partly cathartic, ‘Didn’t Get It Right’ makes inquiries many avoid, prompting us to examine our decisions and responses. While the lyric paints a picture of regret and self-consciousness the instrumentation offers a kind of redemption through a shimmering, hypnotic, zither motif which trickles over an ominous Stranger Things-esque synth bass. The polished production seamlessly wraps around an old-world song structure, building to a triumphant guitar crescendo. Every note here is deliberate and quietly calculated in true Darling James style.
Outside of Darling James, O’Brien has lead a colourful career so far, (co) fronting seminal Melbourne-via-Brisbane stalwarts The Boat people, writing a break-out hit with powerhouse pop duo YesYou, touring extensively with Machine Translations and working in Kate Miller-Heidke’s live band. He’s graced national stages including Splendour In The Grass, Woodford Folk Festival, Sunset Sounds, Big Day Out and Southbound Festival.
Darling James’ debut EP Theory of Mind, released in late 2016, saw the multi instrumentalist earn rotation adds to triple j and Double J, gain over 120,000 streams on Spotify for lead single ‘Ultimatum Talk’, sell out hometown shows and play supports with Olympia, The Church, Dan Kelly and Ella Hooper. ‘Didn’t Get It Right’ brings with it the promise of new music, songs draped in Darling James’ urgent lyricism, intricate and deliberate instrumentation, and pristine production.
Darling James’ new track ‘Didn’t Get It Right’ premiered on Music Feeds this week and is OUT NOW.
PRAISE FOR DARLING JAMES
“It’s as much an aural roller-coaster as it is an emotional one, as O’Brien lays everything out on his sleeve to present a vulnerable, honest, incredibly alluring composition that stands as an exceedingly strong first foot forward and leaves us pretty dang excited to see what’s next to emerge from the fledgling Darling James camp.”
– Mitch Knox, themusic.com.au
“This has the clever pop sensibilities and piercing lyrics you’d expect from a guy who was once a part of the criminally underrated Brisbane act The Boat People.”
– Dom Alessio, triple j
“His songs are consistently surprising, playful and boundary-pushing, but still with an accessible emotional core.”
– Kate Miller-Heidke
“His debut single Ultimatum Talk hinted at a songwriter and producer extending an already unique and eclectic musical perspective to new discoveries.”
– Wally De Baker (Gotye)