For Those Darlins, life begins at Southern Girls Rock and Roll Camp, a Murfreesboro, Tenn. day camp where girls aged 10 to 17 spend a week learning how to, well, rock. Kelly Darlin founded that camp, inspired by a similar program at which she had volunteered in Portland, Oregon. Kelly Darlin met Jessi Darlin at the camp, and soon enough Nikki Darlin tagged along, the three bonding over a love for the Carter Family. Of course, perhaps it was fated that all trio would come together, given that they share the same last name.
"Nikki and Jessi invited me over to play some songs, and we started geeking out over the Carter Family and Hank Williams," Kelley Darlin explains. "It evolved really organically. Our first show we went and played for a friend's birthday party, and we dressed in Hee-Haw
dresses. It was kind of ridiculous, but people saw us and asked us to open for their bands."
Not that the three ever intended to create a living, breathing band.
"We played together for six months before we started playing out," said Nikki Darlin. "We didn't write new music together until after we decided we were a band. Some songs are written in one sitting and we just bounce ideas off each other, and other songs take months and months to develop. Other times one of us will write a song and we'll all work on it afterward."
These songs range from the rock-country "Wild One", about a woman who may be more than her man can handle, to the wonderfully funny "The Whole Damn Thing", a song in which our heroine drunkenly eats a whole damn chicken.
"I wrote that song in about five minutes, before I'd even met the girls," said Nikki Darlin. "It was a New Year's experience. I told someone about it and they said I should write a song. I thought it was stupid, but people think it's funny."
Funny, wild, and unpredictable this is a band to watch. And indeed many are, judging from laudatory comments made by The New Yorker's
Sasha Frere-Jones and writers from Pitchfork
and USA Today
"It's really exciting and awesome to know so many people are taking note," Kelley Darlin says. "It's really exciting. It's also cool when you hear that people are looking forward to the album. It's really exciting that people want to hear more music."
With an EP already out, fans can look forward to a vinyl (packaged with CD) release in June, with a CD-only release following shortly in July. Those Darlins will also be continuing to tour, with their stop in Indianapolis one of many throughout the region.
Listen: "Wild One" from 2008's
Wild One EP