With the release of their debut album, we’re so delighted to bring you this exclusive track by track, as Darlinghurst talks us through each track.
I, like many others, have been looking forward to hearing Darlinghurst’s self-titled album – and the time is finally here! Released last Friday, the debut album features all six singles, all off which landed in the Top 5 of the Countrytown Music Network Hot 50 Country Airplay Chart, with four of the six – Sorry Won’t Get You Back, Gotta Go Rodeo, Where Do We Go and Unfaithful – climbing all the way to the coveted #1 position.
Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Jason Resch (who also co-produced the album), vocalist Pagan Newman, vocalist Cassie Leopold and vocalist/guitarist Matt Darvidis, the story of Darlinghurst is an interesting one … After four years and a run of hits in the UK, as well as stints in Los Angeles and Nashville, Jason returned home to Melbourne at the end of 2015.
Two years later, he met up with Cassie and Pagan in 2017 and they decided to form a band. Cassie did backing vocals for Christine Anu and Olivia Newton-John, and played theme parks in the US, meanwhile, Pagan cut an RNB/Soul album in the US, and is a music teacher. Wanting to expand into a four-piece, their producer suggested Matt – a guitarist from a family of musicians. As soon as he heard the songs, he agreed straight away to join Darlinghurst.
Since then, the four-piece Melbourne-based band scored their first Golden Guitar nomination for ‘New Talent of the Year’ in 2021, performed at the Groundwater Country Music Festival, Deni Ute Muster, Gympie Music Muster, Live & Loud Stage Tamworth and opened for artists such as Jimmy Barnes, James Blundell, The Wolfe Brothers and The Black Sorrows.
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With the release of their twelve-track debut self-titled album, co-produced by Pete Dacy and recorded at Secret Sound Studios Melbourne, we’re so delighted to bring you this exclusive track by track, as Darlinghurst talks us through each individual track: the creation, sentiment, and everything in between.
Cassie explains the essence of So Long So Long’s lyrical intent: “After constant disappointment and relationship heartbreak, you’re ready to move on and wear that pain around your neck like the grandest of diamonds. It’s a song about finding strength, letting go and moving on. Or as someone else described it, a romantic take on a ‘Take This Job and Shove It’ attitude!”
Matt delivers his vocal so sweetly and believes it was the lyrics that inspired him to do so. He said, "Where Do We Go evokes this sense of freedom and an appreciation of life and love, when you’re traveling in the same direction with the ones you hold close. The inspiration behind the song was the importance of being present and optimistic on what the future may bring. And it is just such a great song to sing”.
"This is a very special song to us - for this was the first one we ever wrote together," says Pagan, who takes lead vocal on this calmingly upbeat track - though with questionable lyrics that preys to seek answers. "When you have a relationship where you find your heart keeps going in circles, while life continues to go up and down; you question the ride you may be on, and if it’s it really worth it in the end when it comes back around."
Sometimes even the sincerest apology is too little too late. Sorry Won’t Get You Back explores the emotional reality that hurting those we love can have dire consequences. "I'm sure everyone experiences this at some point in their life, and it's a tough pill to swallow - no matter how big or small the situation." says Cassie. "But that's life - we're all human, we're all doing the best we can - and we try our best today to not make the same mistake we may have made yesterday. And that's what the song is about."
A song perfect to play at the happiest moments, but also in times of where you wonder what could've been. Jason thoughts on this track: "I think it just really lends to the perspective of the listener. There are people that have been very fortunate to find that certain someone in a lifetime; and if you do, it's beyond beautiful when you end up sharing your life with them. But from some, they're just meant to pass through. Either way, you never forget them, and for whatever reason - they'll leave a life-long impression."
Darlinghurst describe Picture Frame as an ode to how we “hold onto the past through captured moments in time, when holding onto the present is no longer an option.” Writing from a deeply personal but universally ascribable place, Darlinghurst offers a comforting hand to anyone who has ever experienced the breakdown of a relationship or the loss of someone close to them; those who know what it feels like when love is reduced to a beautifully painful memory.
Hangman allows the listener to interpret and imagine their own narrative. Explains Pagan: "It's a wild and crazy song of ours, which initially started as one concept and picked up a whole lot of other ones along the way!" Cassie adds: "But where we got it to, though the madness you hear is on the surface, there are depths that underline it. The lyrics ‘I don’t want you to be my hangman’ represents the power and control people demand to influence their own agenda at the cost of your truth."
"I heard Matt playing this riff on acoustic guitar one day, and when I heard it, I knew we could write something very heartfelt." mentions Jason about the song's conception. Written during last year's lockdown, in separate cities and states, Matt explains what the song engages: "Genevieve is about when something causes a relationship to end, but as time goes by, the feelings for each other is still there, and too strong - that it makes you wonder if you can ever make it back to parallel lines together."
Jason says of Unfaithful; “It’s a song about the betrayal of one’s trust, caused by another’s ulterior motives. The inspiration came from a walk-through Palm Springs, California - surrounded by the concept of beauty and contentment; but to then have a self-realisation that what we consider paradise, beautiful and everlasting - may not be what they’re perceived to be.”
Gotta Go Rodeo was inspired, said band member Cassie, by this crazy place in Moama, NSW that she and Pagan would head too on the odd occasion. “Gotta Go Rodeo is essentially about a place owned by friends of Pagan's and mine who throw the craziest parties. As you enter a sign reads leave your inhibitions at the gate and everyone that enters generally does that. It’s about escaping whatever's bringing you down or holding you back and letting your hair down."
The cheekiest track off Darlinghurst's debut album, sung by the two 'naughty' ones of the band! "We're pretty confident women, and we thought it was very important for us to put it out there, that it's okay for women to be expressive; and feel empowered to make decisions about what they desire without judgment," says Cassie. "And it's also a cheeky song with a play on words that can raise an eyebrow or two! But yes, throw your hair in the wind, and be you. Just be you!"
After a first listen to the final mix, Pagan commented: ”What Shannon’s brought to this song is literally a 1+1 = 3 moment. When you consider he sang his vocal alone, in another city 1,000kms away at 9 o’clock in the morning 3 months after I laid down mine is just astonishing. When you hear the finished track, you’d swear we were centimetres from each other when recording our vocals!”
Listen to the full album below!