Travel is a double-edged sword: as you grow more free, more limitless in your adventures, it just makes it more difficult to return back to normality. On her debut album, darby has crafted an ode to the home-bound.
I’ve always understood records like an art gallery. An album is a curated collection of masterpieces, each boasting their own individual worlds and textures. When hung together, however, these stories are transformed from separate entities into strokes on a much wider canvas. Where one song refrains to evoke deeper emotions, another may sweep in to support its nuance through equally soft tones. Where one track may burn with vulnerability, another will cooly wash through, bringing a moment’s comfort to both the artist and the listener. Listening to darby’s debut album just affirms my theory in every possible way.
To put the majesty of Suburbia into the simplest words, it is like flipping through the pages of an age-worn travel journal, reliving each moment through grainy nostalgia. Each song boasts a unique moment, evoking the exact tone, scent, and sentiment felt at the time. As a complete entity, however, it is a photo album for the wanderlust-sick homebody.
Sonically, Suburbia hypnotises you from start to finish. From the neo-soul textures of Russian Girls to the sparkling acoustic tides of Weed And Conversation, the artist melts her diverse sonic reach into crystal clear pools of reflection, singing her memories as though they were physical images. darby has an incredible talent for storytelling. With just her lush vocals and buttery guitar melodies, she could easily sing a cinematic universe into the bars of a chorus. Suburbia is much more than that though.
A silky smooth blend of genre, colour, and emotion, the only thing more detailed would be the experience itself. There are very few records out there like it; Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, and Jeff Buckley all paved the way for the masterpiece darby has created.
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Heard maself singin on the radio today Eeep. Very surreal and cool 😎 big thanks @fbiradio For the support. Tickets to the ‘Suburbia’ album launch this Thursday with my band at @vanguardnewtown are available via the link in my bio. We are close to capacity which is amazing. 😊 merci beacoups 📸 @bartel___art @van_bartel
“The journey of this album began almost three years ago in Pankow Park, Berlin whilst bunkering up with fellow Sydney Siders Adam and Miriam in their cosy German loft,” the artist writes. “Most of the record was inspired by my solo travels throughout Europe and the post-travel adjustment of returning home to Suburbia after having seen so much and changed just the same.”
Flooded with gleaming reviews and with her Vanguard album launch set for tomorrow, darby is on a steady path to greatness.
Grab your copy of Suburbia here: