Myrtle Beach is a coastal city on the East Coast of the United States in Horry County, South Carolina. It is located in the center of a long and continuous 60-mile (97 km) stretch of beach known as “The Grand Strand” in northeastern South Carolina.
It is one of the major centers of tourism in South Carolina and the United States. The city’s warm subtropical climate, miles of beaches, 86 golf courses, and 1,800 restaurants attract over 20 million visitors each year, making Myrtle Beach one of the most visited destinations in the country.
Along its beachfront boardwalk are arcades, souvenir stands and restaurants, as well as the old-fashioned Family Kingdom amusement park and the SkyWheel, one of the country’s tallest Ferris wheels.
Full of quirky, seemingly random, and off-the-cuff tracks, Artvertisement features notable tracks “Busted World,” “Pizza & Drugs,” and of course, “Exile on Myrtle Beach.” Released via ANTI- records, the new album succeeds his 2019 album, Talking Dogs and Atom Bombs.
It doesn’t take long to gather Bradbury has a deep affinity for the late great John Prine, as his vocal delivery and lyrics share a striking resemblance to the songwriting behemoth. Some may even call him John Prine Jr., or Lil John. (though there may be some legal issues with the latter) Though this album features more songs with indie rock and quasi-punk rock instrumentation, the folk songwriter element still shines through.
We caught up with Bradbury to ask a few questions, and we got a few answers.
So your new album, Artvertisement, has been out for over a month now. What’s the feeling like the first week or two as you bask in your art being freshly out into the world?
A feeling of relief, anticipation and nerves, all at the same time.
How does this album compare and contrast to your previous album, Talking Dogs and Atom Bombs?
This album has a broader sonic palette, underlying the same type of self-dystopian narrative. Our attempt was to create sounds that had the same sense of humor as the lyrics on the album.
What was your songwriting process like for the new album, and did you find this to be a particularly difficult album to write?
This batch of songs came to me over fall of 2019 while waiting to head over to Europe for the first time on tour.
You’ve got a couple far out music videos with your face obscurely in a beach setting in “Exile In Myrtle Beach” and again your rotating head in a microwave in the title track “Artvertisement.” Do you typically lean towards the more humorous and lighthearted approach in your videos and songs?
My head was the only thing the label could afford.
Did you have any songs you struggled to decide on whether to add or omit from the album?
No, I write an album like someone writes a book.
What’s the overall inspiration or influence behind the album?
The album is a collection of thoughts – some weird, some funny, some deep, some shallow – the intent being to accurately describe my viewpoint on this crazy world we live in.
What does a dream gig look like for Darrin Bradbury?
One that’s at 9:30 in the morning in my underwear and only dogs in the audience.
What are one or two pinnacle moments for you?
Getting signed to ANTI and meeting John Prine.
Are you taking the album on the road?
Yes, according to good times Tommy, my booking agent and manager, I am.
How would you describe your lifestyle as a musician?
Photo by Weston Heflin