Darling, Engine Orchestra, Harley Poe
Downtown Records, West Lafayette
Friday, Jan. 12, 8 p.m.
Scheduled to play at West Lafayette’s Downtown Records this Friday, Christopher Thomas, lead singer of the Indiana-based band Darling, took a few minutes to talk about his band’s debut album, Welcome the Ghost, before they leave for their 2007 tour.
NUVO: Tell me about Welcome the Ghost. How did it evolve?
CT: A few years ago, I wrote an outline for a story about two teen-age lovers who ultimately fall apart. I debated writing it as a short story or as a series of songs, and for a while it just sat in a notebook doing nothing. When a friend suggested I come to his studio and record, I dug it up and revised the whole thing. Every day I worked on writing the album, developing the story [and] working out songs that would sonically fit the emotional arc of the story.
NUVO: You use strikingly unconventional song structures …
CT: I rely [more] on rhythms and song structures to provide interest in the music. I’m not content to simply write verse-chorus-verse. I make sure I explore every idea in a song before I set it in stone. When I was writing this album, I actually drew bar charts for each song. It helped me keep track of my ideas and make sure each section was fully developed. As for the lyrics, I spent a lot of time writing them. I’m an English/lit major, and my main focus is poetry, so I’m very particular on how the lyrics come across. I wrote the lyrics for almost every song first as a free verse poem. That helped me get the ideas out in a way that articulated my thoughts clearly.