Darlingside: Extralife (More Doug Records)

Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
This isn’t normally the style of music that I would gravitate towards. The vocals are almost choir like with very light instrumentation. The vocals are in the higher octaves, which I normally do not care for. In this instance, my narrow minded viewpoint does not apply. This is one of the most striking albums I have heard in a very long while.
This isn’t just an easy listen, these songs are soothing and have some powers of rejuvenation. Music can be therapeutic and have healing qualities. The vibe and message on this collection will not smack you in the face. Instead, you will be gently swayed by the heavenly notes. The feeling that I am left with after listening to the entire album is one of complete peace and tranquility.
Darlingside has been at it since 2009 and have four full length albums and one EP under their belts. The band is known for their ethereal harmonies and powerful composition and arrangement skills. The four current members are Don Mitchell (guitar, banjo, vocals), Auyon Mukharji (mandolin, violin, vocals), Harris Paseltiner (guitar, cello, vocals), and David Senft (bass, kick drum, vocals). Sam Kapala, who was a founding member, left the band in 2013.
If you are a fan of light and airy when you indulge in your rock and roll, then this whole album will appeal to you. Hold Your Head Up High (Track 4) is the measuring stick when it comes to light and airy. The instrumentation is absolutely exquisite with the strings and the horns. Once the vocals become fully engaged, this song goes from 0 to 60 in about three seconds. 
A song that is an example of absolutely pure harmonic bliss would have to be Singularity (Track 2). This lovely number takes beauty to sights unseen. This is another musical example where the only perfect word to describe it is exquisite. I know that word was already used, but a better word for this situation escapes me. 
If you are ready for a truly uplifting experience, then Extralife is for you. Sometimes the best therapy is music, and Extralife is the perfect prescription. Your jaw will drop at the musical and vocal prowess displayed. My jaw is still firmly planted on the floor. 
Listen to Extralife
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