Ultimatum Talk is a passionate, brilliant debut from Darling James

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Ex co-front man of The Boat People, James O’Brien is once again producing music with his new endeavour, Darling James!

Originating in Melbourne James, Tom, Zac and Dan are the quad that forms the band. James O’Brien started the venture as a means of giving life to the songs he had written in his private time whilst on tour with numerous acts. After being with The Boat People, James gained a great amount of experience in the music industry, which shows in his latest venture.

Darling James

James O’Brien and the Darling James crew capture the pain and confusion every break up boils down to in Ultimatum Talk. A brilliant, blistering debut.

Their debut single, Ultimatum Talk was released in April and explores the emotions felt during a break-up. We’ve all gone through this process of an ultimatum talk at least once in our lives and the emotional roller coaster (excuse the clichè)* that we experience during this period. This track bottles it up and replicates it perfectly through the protagonist.

Whilst the band describe the track as the “Blurry weeks following the slow, painful death of a real-life long-term relationship, it’s a story of disappointment and denial”, the track resonates greater as a journey of denial, irritation, rage and hurt during the ultimatum talk. Backed by a ukulele loop, lyrics like “Do you remember when we had that ultimatum talk? You thought it all through, you had it all planned, you knew full well I didn’t stand a chance/ Things change up and things go down, did I let us down, did I let us down?” The song is suddenly hit with this crescendo of drums and cymbals followed by gritty guitar. This suddenness exemplifies the fury felt once the denial and hurt has subsided. This fury builds and transforms into rejection as shown with the lyrics “I didn’t even try, I just hit the town, you let me down”.

James notes the production of the piece was quite an involved process with a variety of recordings and re-recordings over its time. “Before Darling James was formed Dan suggested I come over to his place in Preston and record a demo – just of anything I had lying around that I thought would be suitable.” After realising that what they had didn’t quite gel, they scrapped it and invented something new and steamed ahead with that. “I wrote the verses but couldn’t think of way to develop the song without ruining the vibe so I told Dan to ‘Go nuts on the drums like Liam Finn and then fall into a kraut rock beat’“. From here and with a lot more deliberating, testing, scrapping and reworking the boys created what is now the debut single.

There is a lot in store for Darling James now, and as James has informed Happy there looks to be no slowing down in the near future. “We’ve got a lot of songs to put out! So we’re working towards an EP for later in the year. I’m also always drawn to more unusual creative opportunities. Last year at Melbourne Fringe Festival I produced and music directed a night called “8 First Dates” in which Darling James backed a whole bunch of amazing songwriters premiering new work. We had Ainslie Wills, Jae Laffer (The Panics), Angie Hart (Frente) and Jess Cornelius (Teeth and Tongue) amongst others playing never-heard-before songs. That was a real buzz so I’ll always be on the look out fore fun projects like that.”

For all the latest on these amazing projects be sure to keep an eye on all the Darling James socials.

*Ed. Spinning teacups perhaps? Those things can be gnarly.

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