‘Pretty Doesn’t Make You Good’ by Darlinghurst – Premiere

17 May 2023 | 10:00 am | Ellie Robinson

“Trying to escape what the world sells, ‘what success should look like’, is a narrative that continues…”

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Darlinghurst are back with another powerful (and powerfully moving) new tune, Pretty Doesn’t Make You Good, with the song and video both premiering exclusively on Countrytown.

Clocking in just shy of three minutes, it’s a short ’n’ sweet little blast of punchy, pop-infused country-rockin’ – and as its title suggests, it wields a rather pertinent message for those cutting their teeth in the current pop-culture zeitgeist: no matter how much you try to change your looks, your real talents and worth come from within.

Pretty Doesn’t Make You Good sees Pagan Newman take the lead on vocals, with Cassie Leopold, Matt Darvidis and Jason Resch all colouring it in with enthralling harmonies. In a press release, Newman opined that “mindsets can be powerful creatures”, but music has “the power to evoke change” like nothing else. “Albeit lyrically [this song] has an important message,” she added, “audibly it’s subtle and an easy listen. Pretty Doesn’t Make You Good is our way to help break the chain. Once this happens, we no longer will be living in our history, we will be creating a future.”

The sentiment was shared by Leopold, who shared in a statement of her own: “Trying to escape what the world sells, ‘what success should look like’, is a narrative that continues [to spread], and one that has a much further reach than ever before. Our personal internal dialogue, self-deprecating, body-loathing struggle is real, and this system is deeply unconscious, yet faithfully repeated.”

By way of its buoyant beat and ultra-catchy hook, Darlinghurst hope that Pretty Doesn’t Make You Good will be an easy song to latch on to, allowing its positive message to sit with the listener far longer than it would with a ballad or angsty rock’n’roller. It was put together with fellow Melbourne outfit MSquared (songwriter-producers Michael Paynter and Michael DeLorenzis), who like Darlinghurst are no strangers to acclaim, having been honoured at historic events like the ARIAs and Golden Guitar Awards.

The song arrives alongside an eye-catching video directed by Ian Ritter, filmed on location in the idyllic town of Ararat in Victoria (some 93 kilometres west of Ballarat). It also comes as Darlinghurst’s second release for 2023 (thus far), following A Little Love – their team-up with Joe Camilleri & The Black Sorrows – from back in March. In an upcoming interview with Countrytown (keep an eye out for that later this week), Newman teased even more new music right around the corner.

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Over the past few years, Darlinghurst have soared in stature to become one of Australia’s biggest names in country music. They debuted in 2019 with the single Sorry Won’t Get You Back, an immediate hit that they followed just months later with the chart-topping So Long So Long. A slew of instant classics followed – Picture Frame, Gotta Go Rodeo, Where Do We Go, Unfaithful and You Stopped Making Sense (featuring Shannon Noll) – before the band’s self-titled album landed in September 2021.

That album won the praise of fans and critics alike, earning Darlinghurst the 2022 Golden Guitar Award for ‘New Talent of the Year’. But the band didn’t rest on their laurels, with last year bringing two belting new singles: Living For The Highlights (a joint effort with Amber Lawrence) and Hangman. Album #2, it’s said, is currently in the works.

Check out the video for Pretty Doesn’t Make You Good below, and keep up to date with Darlinghurst on their Facebook page here.