Folk and Americana are genres of endless possibilities. There’s so many unique avenues one can take it, whether it be lyrically or instrumentally, and it is arguably the form of music that most effectively conveys the human condition.
One such band adding their own unique twist to the sound is Philadelphia mainstays Darlingtyn.
Starting in the Southeastern Pennsylvania folk scene, Darlingtyn was created from the connection between Jack Shoudy and Emily MacDonald. Since 2011, Darlingtyn has made a career out of poetic imagery and romantic longings, so it’s no surprise that they turned to legendary beat poet Allen Ginsberg for inspiration on their latest release.
“In the Back Of the Real” takes listeners back to the classic roots rock folk ballads of old. The guitar hooks are simple yet magnetic, and the keys dance back and forth between your ears, with the swampy drums and bass holding down the backbeat. The bittersweet harmonies that play out the entire song make the lyrics feel like the sincerest of stories told over a crackling campfire.
It’s a bold move to take one of the most iconic poets of the 20th Century and turn a poem of his into song, but I’ll be damned if they don’t do it justice. “The tune started as a writing exercise for myself, to set words that weren’t mine to music that was,” said Shoudy in regards to the genesis of the track.
He went on to say, “Ginsberg’s family needed to hear the song before they would allow his words to be used in an official release. They were one of the first people to hear the song outside of the studio.” With the blessing of the Ginsberg estate, “In The Back Of The Real” brings Allen’s words to life, making them sound as vital and vibrant as the day they were written.
The result is an endearing tribute to an artist they and many others hold in high regard.
The band released their self-titled EP in 2017, and soon after, their strict touring schedule would build up their music chops, creating an impressive live act. As more audiences took note their skills as a live band, the band realized they needed to capture their exciting performances on tape. Their 2020 EP, Live at the Filmore, captured this energy in an explosive 27 minutes.
Darlingtyn has their debut album, The Creatures Who Wander, set to be released later this year. Recorded in South Philadelphia at Turtle Studios with engineer Doug Raus and executive producer Jay Levin, this is Darlingtyn’s first studio release since their eponymous debut EP in 2017.
Darlingtyn’s unique folk and roots rock instrumentation combined with the poetry of a 60s counter-culture hero shows just how creative this band truly is, and acts as a most welcomed appetizer for the eventual entrée.