Darla Jade

Singles under review: Two of You – Ghost in Me

So, let’s start off the new year with a requested review and something different, shall we?

Darla Jade

Darla Jade is a Staffordshire based electro-pop singer/songwriter. Dropping her debut single, This Time, back in 2019, she has only gone from strength to strength, going on to release a further five singles last year. She also has an impressive live resume, having played prestigious UK venues like Ronnie Scott’s and the Bedford lounge and even toured in Germany with crossover artist The Dark Tenor. While her two latest singles, Two of You and Ghost in Me, both came out last year, she performed a live (no crowd, obviously) video of them that was released the other day. I got sent it to check out so please, if you wish to, stick around and see what I thought!

Looking for a live music event to attend? We recommend Leeds Festival or should prefer something different and to the south Boardmasters

Two of You

Starting with Two of You, we immediately get to hear Darla’s powerful, low and unique vocals, on her own above a simple drumbeat. Her lyric delivery is quick, almost rapping, but it is so controlled and almost hauntingly beautiful that it works incredibly well. Some simple guitar chords can be heard ringing out on occasion through the verse, but it isn’t until the chorus that the whole band kicks in. When they do it elevates the chorus and the song as a whole, feeling massive and anthemic. The instrumentation is pretty basic but it all compliments the vocal line and melody so well, making it a very catchy chorus

The song drops back down into the second verse and provides me with maybe my favourite part of the song. A low male harmony follows down one of Darla’s vocal lines, adding a cool dynamic, and then everything drops out momentarily before a simple click is introduced into the mix. I think it helps that Darla is such a charismatic, interesting performer live that her subtle movement to the click made it all the more impactful. Throughout this video she does a lot to keep it visually interesting, being one hell of a performer. I think the factory/warehouse type setting also added a lot visually, too.

Another longer chorus is next before an awesome, catchy bridge. Dropping down to her vocals backed by some fat, grungy distorted guitar chords before building back into the final chorus added more layers to an already dynamic song and sounds like it would provide a great sing-a-long moment live. The final chorus blasts through until the end and, honestly I really enjoyed this song!

Ghost in Me

Next, we go straight into Ghost in Me. This one starts off equally stripped back and slow, but this time has some nice clean guitar chords backing Darla’s vocals instead of the drumbeat. It again sounds beautiful, the guitars and vocals bouncing off each other so well. Darla hits some incredible high notes here too, sounding as controlled as ever.

The chorus stays a little stripped back still, the whole band still being involved but it doesn’t have quite as big a sound as the previous one. That’s not to say it isn’t still catchy, however, with a simple yet fun vocal line consisting of the song’s title and some always appreciated ‘ooooo’s. The band stay put through the second verse, adding some great umph and dynamics to the track. A good bridge rolls swiftly into a final chorus (though not without another awesome drop-out heading into it) before the song comes to a dramatic, awesome end. Though I preferred the first one, I think, both of these were excellent.

If you enjoyed Darla, you might also like to check out Lady Rose review

Overall: I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would! I had no idea what to expect heading into this and I have to admit my heart dropped a little when I was doing my research and saw the genre. However, while I’m not usually into the poppier side of music, this was fantastic, and a little darker and heavier than I was expecting. Both have become late editions to the MFUK 2020 playlist too, and I can’t wait to hear where she goes from here!

Overall: 8/10

The review by musician, blogger & author – Joe Griffiths

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