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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment November 15, 2018

2/27/2018 1:57:00 PM
Darlingside to return to the Sisters stage
By Ceili Cornelius

Sisters favorite Darlingside is set to return as the third installment of Sisters Folk Festival's Winter Concert Series. It will be their fourth time on the Sisters stage; they first came to the Sisters Folk Festival in 2014.

"Sisters is a place we always look forward to going," Dave Senft told The Nugget.

Darlingside is known around the nation for their unique folk/alternative sound. However, they don't like labels on their music because they incorporate many different genres into their music.

"We all bring different backgrounds of music into our sound, including classical to '60s pop and folk," said Senft.

The band is made up of four friends who attended Williams College in Massachusetts: Dave Senft on bass, kick drum and vocals; Don Mitchell playing electric guitar, banjo, acoustic guitar and vocals; Harris Paseltiner on cello, acoustic guitar and vocals; and Auyon Mukharji on tambourine, violin, mandolin and vocals.

They are known for their perfect harmonies that they have crafted over the many years of being college buddies, then roommates, and now working in a band together.

"Once we all graduated in different years, we moved in together and started feeling out if we wanted to start a band. We at the time had a drummer, Sam, in the band who is no longer with the band. Once he left, we really had to hone our new sound without drums, and it focused the genre in a different direction. Vocals and harmonies have always been the primary focus," said Senft.

Darlingside is gearing up to tour their newest record, their third full-length album which they recently recorded and have been rehearsing the new songs.

"When we practice the tracks from the album to live tracks we tweak the sound and arrangement of songs just because in studio versus live performances are very different and we want to make each unique," said Senft.

When recording an album, the band goes into a studio in Boston called Dimension Sounds and records the instrument tracks where they have access to a huge amount of equipment for mixing. They then lay the vocal tracks in the home of Senft, in an upstairs room, coating the walls in acoustic blankets to make the room "sing-able." They then go back into studio with the vocal recordings and mix with the instrument tracks. The band tends to write and finish the lyrics of the songs as they are recording the album.

"When we are in studio we are forced to make decisions on a lyric, and if it comes together it does and we chose it for the album. We came in with 30 songs and narrowed it down to 12 for the album because we had to lay lyrics down, and we tend to go back and forth on tracks and what they should be," said Senft.

On their new album, entitled "Extralife," due out February 23, they tried out some new sounds, including a synthesizer called a Septavox which creates a sort of toned video game sound that they then go in and mix in the studio. They also added a horn section and grand piano for a few tracks on the album. When asked what they are wanting fans to listen for, Senft said the band doesn't set out to say what a given accomplishment of an album is.

"We put the album out there for people to interpret their own way. Every one of the band members' interpretation is different as well, and everything is a very democratic process in the way it is going to sound and look. So, once we put it out there, my favorite part is hearing what the songs and sounds mean to people. We don't set out for a specific goal or sound of the album. We leave it up to interpretation."

Darlingside was named artist of the year by Folk Alliance International in 2016. Recently, their music video for their single "Futures" was featured in a Rolling Stone magazine story: "With its Nick Drake-worthy guitar arpeggios and cinematic chorus, 'Futures' feels both fresh and familiar, like some throwback piece of orchestral folk-pop recently removed from the vault. The song's animated music video strikes a similar balance. Directed by Keith Boynton, it follows a time-traveler's attempts to reset the balance of the world," wrote Robert Crawford.

The band sticks to their roots in folk and alternative music and is known for their quirky style and unique harmonic sound.

"We are super-excited to see our Sisters friends and do a workshop with the Americana (Project) students at the high school ahead of the show," said Senft. Darlingside will be performing at Sisters High School on Wednesday, March 14, at 7 p.m. in the third and final installment of the 2018 Winter Concert Series.

Ticket information may be found at and more information on the band may be found at

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