Music & Shows

Published on September 5th, 2013 | by Nature Humphries


Blur the Line Blends Those Darlins’ Punk Vintage Sounds

Those Darlins’ third album, Blur the Line, is set to release on October 1. Produced by Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo, John Cale, and JEFF the Brotherhood), the album was recorded earlier this year with material written mostly during a tour-heavy 2012.

Blur the Line opens with “Oh God,” a heartbreaking track that invokes the disoriented feeling of being on the road, in “a different city every day.” It’s a melancholy track, full of lush imagery in lyrics like “After every toilet seat / and every ashtray of a night / the gas pump sidewalk sort of days” buoyed by scorching guitar and a swaying back beat.

The album as a whole feels a bit more produced than their previous two, but in a good way – it bursts with textures and cool effects that give the songs depth and diversity that ranges from the stoner-punk, Go-Go-esque “In the Wilderness” to the driving, dancing “Optimist.” There’s a solid mix of some vintage psychedelia with the pop-punk energy Those Darlins are known for. “That Man” makes me think of the 50’s throwback style of Rocky Horror Picture Show and “Western Sky” is reminiscent of Sonic Youth, only less noisy.

To quote their new bio, “Blur The Line is a look inward, asking bigger questions and tackling an archetypal theme – the opposing forces that lurk in us and in our world. ‘This may be the most important theme on this record,’ says Nikki, ‘Balance and finding balance within ourselves and others.’” This effort certainly differs from their earlier releases with its less rowdy tone and absence of the country roots of their debut album. With a lineup change since 2011’s Screws Get Loose, Those Darlins are no longer a “girl-band”; new to the group is Adrian Barrera replacing Kelley Darlin on bass, bringing the lineup to a 50-50, yin-yang, male-female balance.

None of that changes the band’s charm and sexual energy. Expect a more mature, thoughtful sound that still delivers a damn fun spin. Pre-order Blur the Line at and get yourself out to Proud Larry’s Thursday, September 5 for their first live show in Oxford since 2011.

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About the Author

is Editor-in-Chief of The Local Voice media company. Nature is originally from Vicksburg, Mississippi, but moved to Oxford in 2004 after spending time in the United States Navy. She also worked in the restaurant industry for many years as a Server and a Bartender. Nature graduated from Ole Miss in 2007 with a degree in English and Modern Languages.

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