Extralife: A Long Way from the Best of the Best of Times

Darlingside Band Photo by Cameron Gee

To the West now, it begins
In the sound waves, in the wind
There is an echo going by
Of the mountains caving in

And the potted roads and I
Knew that one day we would die
And become smooth and whole again
Like the ash that sweeps the sky

Those lines fall among other sweetly melancholic visions on Extralife, the latest album by Darlingside. The collection of a dozen Americana songs use apocalyptic and bucolic imagery to create a melodious soundtrack for life leading up to and following the collapse. You’ll hear simple acoustic guitars, acapella harmonies galore, displacing electronic treatments, and something harder to put your finger on. Somewhere between Simon & Garfunkel, a science-fiction convention, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

NPR’s review notes exactly what The Oblivious finds exciting about the new record:

a sumptuous set of harmony-heavy songs that, like an impressionist painting, conjures the feeling and texture of end times while leaving plenty of space for the listener to decide just what such an event would actually look like.

Take the poetic close to Extralife:

When the world speaks
It rattles to me like an antique
Or maybe it rings

Like an old bell
Wishing us some kind of farewell
A wave in the window

A beacon
The battened-down end of a season
Lullaby blue

It is two doves
Shot in the heat of the summer
And truer than words

We’re a long way from the best of the best of times

You can stream or purchase the album at all the usual places. Image by Cameron Gee.