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Tuesday, 3 December 2013

#217: The Darlingtons - Don't Give Me Hope (single review)


The Darlingtons

Don't Give Me Hope 

November 25, 2013 (self-release)

8.5/10



Following on from September's excellent live EP, Who Says There's No Beach in Doncaster? Taunton's The Darlingtons are back with new single 'Don't Give Me Hope' and it's B-side 'Contagious/Courageous'. As I mentioned in an earlier review, there's an air of melancholy that permeates the band's optimism, a kind of relatable miserabilia that manages never to feel cloying, and is, at times, adds to the inherently uplifting nature of their music. With 'Don't Give Me Hope' however, that seems to have fallen by the wayside in what serves to be one of the band's most emotionally intense release to date.

As a standalone track, 'Don't Give Me Hope' would serve perfectly to encapsulate the essence of The Darlingtons in just under four minutes. As it happens however, with 'Contagious/Courageous' following it, the pairing of these two tracks together makes for a compelling listen, that doesn't so much as summarise the band, as showcase their defining facets.

'...Hope' sees the band take a realist's view of a relationship by means of an anthemic and optimistic track, the inevitable narrative outcome juxtaposed effortlessly against the track as a whole whilst the ending sees a shoegaze-y breakdown conclude. Conversely, 'Contagious/Courageous' sees the band head in an almost dream-pop direction, drawing on the softer side of the their influences, draping the track in a lazy haze whilst still maintaining the their optimistic ideals.


Having already been championed by such magazines as Artrocker, it's obvious that 'Don't Give Me Hope' is attracting attention from all the right places. This, coupled with the band's tireless work ethic and gig schedule, they've won over fans across the country, and as we go in to 2014, you can't help but think that it could quite easily become the year of The Darlingtons.



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