I feel like I might have creeped the Darlings out by telling them I listen to their new record twice a day. Sometimes I forget that most of the world doesn’t understand an existence where music has no hierarchy. A place where, stripped of any outside information, a song by the Darlings is better than anything Kings of Leon has ever done. I for one wouldn’t know, because I’ve never heard KOL, but I’ve heard the Darlings. A lot. And on repeat because the first time through is never enough.
The inane pop sensibilities Darlings display on their debut LP Yeah I know (on Impose favorite Famous Class) is far beyond their years, even if that is another assumption I have to make since I don’t know their age. They reference Paul Westerberg, but I’m going to contemporize it for you: It’s the slacker cool vibe of the Crystal Stilts with some shoegaze pop ala Human Television (probably the easiest comparison), adding in just a touch of twee and a little punk, and maybe even a little–dare I say it–of whatever Vampire Weekend is.
You have to assume that lyrically, Yeah I Know is based in direct references to the lives of the band. From the laid back cadence of lines like, “I can’t wait to see your skinny legs again/because we’re more than friends and I need you. And we’ll get fucked up in the park/we’ll get fucked up in the dark/say you’ll be my friend forever please/don’t make me get down on my knees” from the appropriately titled “Friends Forever” to the scuzzy screams of “If this is love, well I’m over it!” on the final track “If This Is Love,” it’s hard not to feel some sort of attachment–if not specifically to the words, but what they make you reminisce about in your own life.
And what if it is love? “Don’t bother me cuz I’m surfing!”
To put it simply, Yeah I Know is one of my favorite records of 2009. Remember the feeling you got when you first heard Pavement? Or Weezer? Nearly* flawless pop that will nearly* make you feel guilty for loving it. Just a couple nearly’s from being overlooked, this is a record–and a band–that should be a guilty pleasure for a lot of people in the not so distant future.