Acclaimed indie-folk quartet Darlingside present Everything is Alive, the follow up to their celebrated 2020 release, Fish Pond Fish. While that album celebrated the unity and harmony of the band members, Everything is Alive showcases the individuality of each band member.
The recording of Everything is Alive continued in the pandemic-fueled music style of Fish Pond Fish, with band members Don Mitchell, Auyon Mukharji, Harris Paseltiner and David Senft creating separately to contribute to a sum greater than its parts. Three years later, things have changed in not only the world but also in the lives of Darlingside’s members; themes of grief, loss and hope permeate throughout the album. First single “Eliza I See” recalls Paseltiner’s perception of the passage of time as he experiences it with his young child. He chronicles the creation of “Eliza I See” as songs he made for her at the beginning of the pandemic saved as voice memos, and when rediscovering them a year later they took on a whole new meaning. He notes, “It deals with the joy, but also pain, that comes with change, and the excitement of gaining something new while necessarily losing something at the same time. This feeling is especially pronounced for me with my daughter because she changes so quickly.”
Everything is Alive was produced and recorded by the band and mixed by Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Sufjan Stevens, Iron and Wine) in 2021. And while each band member contributed songs individually, Everything is Alive is still a classic Darlingside effort, filled with vivid imagery and lyrical creativity. The album opens with the hopeful “Green Light” before moving into the many facets of loss on “Lose the Keys.” “All the Lights in the City” is a rumination of life’s big choices with one’s partner, while “Darkening Hour” offers a solemn tone about moving in and out of darkness. The exquisite harmonies on “How Long Again” expose the sadness of America’s gun violence, and “Sea Dogs” meditates on death, if it is final or a rebirth to another form.
In addition, while the album features all four band members, the Everything is Alive tour has evolved into a new configuration. While a critical piece of the band and recording process, Senft will relinquish his road duties and Darlingside will tour with a new structure, featuring the album’s drummer Ben Burns, singer Molly Parden, and others.
Darlingside’s first release was 2015’s Birds Say, which announced the band’s arrival as an eclectic, intelligent and dynamic foursome. Media across the board praised the release, including American Songwriter, Paste, Rolling Stone Country, NPR Music, The New Yorker and The Huffington Post, who called it, “...one of the great albums released this year.” Extralife followed, building the band’s fanbase and continuing to earn raves. Fish Pond Fish was released in 2020 to additional critical praise and the band shared the album with a beautifully produced series of livestreams while touring ceased during the pandemic.