Live Review: Those Darlins

Those Darlins
Southpaw, Brooklyn, NY
July 10, 2009
Review by David Chiu

There has been some recent buzz for this trio whose members have the same last name. And that attention is deservedly warranted when you see them perform live with their spirited crossover music—sort of like country meets riot grrl punk.

These women from Murfreesboro, Tennessee—ukelele player Nikki Darlin, guitarist/bassist Jessi Darlin and bassist/guitarist Kelley Darlin—are really talented singers (each took turns on the lead vocals) and musicians who evoke charisma and feisty attiutde through their stage presence. Right from the get-go, their musicianship and singing were just dynamic and straight-ahead. One can feel the energy from their spirited music, whose songs were from their recently-released self-titled debut such as “222,” “DUI or Die” and “Mama’s Heart.”

It wasn’t also your average rock show too. During the performance, a dude in a chicken suit emerged and strutted onstage on one song. And close to the finale, the group showed a cute animated video of “Red Light Love” that was illustrated by Jessi Darlin. The only thing that kind of slowed down the momentum of the concert was when several audience members got up to shimmy with Nikki—especially this one curly-haired woman who was up there a few more times. That may work for Dan Deacon and Girl Talk, but it was a little bit distracting and kind of reminiscent of a scene from Coyote Ugly.

That aside, Those Darlins really put up a really good rock and roll show. It won’t be surprising that in a year from now, these artists will be playing on an even bigger stage and garnering more attention and raves. Catch them early when you can.


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