The storybook tale of Darling Parade may sound as unlikely as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But once you dig-in, youre bound to devour some sweetness.
Lead vocalist Kristin Kearns and lead guitarist Adam Hatfield were introduced to each other over the course of playing live music in the local Nashville scene. After launching the band as a just-for-fun recording project, Kearns and Hatfield welcomed Nate McCoy (bass) and Casey Conrad (drums) in to the group in early 2010 as they all collectively began to realize they were on the verge of something bigger than they could have even imagined.
Although the band members currently call Nashville, Tennessee their home, where the band had formed and developed, they each came from different parts of the Midwest and South of the US. Band members Kearns, Hatfield, and McCoy draw their roots back to various parts of southern Illinois and Kentucky, whereas drummer Conrad is originally from Memphis, Tennessee. Just as the band members made their own personal journeys to the big city, you can see that reflect in their music as well, with a Smallville-meets-Metropolis background.
Kearns started her career in the rural farming communities of Southern Illinois. By performing acoustic gigs at local wineries and cafes, Kearns established herself as a hometown heroine. To further her career, she moved to Nashville in 2009 after graduating high school, continuing on her path by performing at local venues on the weekends. Similarly lead-guitarist Hatfield became a Nashville transplant after initially gigging around the music scene in Chicago. Bass-player McCoy met guitarist Hatfield in Kentucky at Chapmans Music where Hatfield occasionally offered guitar lessons. The band was complete when drummer Conrad travelled to Nashville via Memphis for an audition request posted online, and he was immediately picked-up by the band right on the spot.
Once the line-up was finalized, the band hit it off the ground running with putting together a groundbreaking self-titled EP. Their independently released first-effort garnered the band wide recognition throughout indie songwriting circles, with the lead track Never Fall Down winning the 2011 American Sound Song Contest. Songs such as Far Away and Lose You were prominently featured on TV shows including SyFys Stargate Universe, ABCs The Lying Game, and The CWs Fly Girls, proving the scope of the bands wide-ranging appeal from geeks to glam. Back to back within several months of promoting their first underground release, a 3-song EP follow-up was exclusively released online, entitled What You Want EP. Take This City from the second release has taken off virally, with thousands of impressions via fan-uploaded videos online. Recently, the band won big at the 2011 Nashville Independent Music Awards, taking Artist Of The Year as well as Song Of The Year for their free-download B-Side track Perfectly Worthless which has been downloaded over 10,000 times by fans on Facebook.
Although often compared to other acts with female-lead vocals such as Paramore and Flyleaf, the band is quick to knock down those typical clich comparisons. What may best be described as a smooth blend of an alternative earthiness and a raw punky in-your-face attitude, Kearns vocals definitely deliver a level of unmatched urgency that drive concert-goers absolutely wild. Her vocals may even remind listeners of Michelle Branch and Avril Lavigne with a little hint of Sheryl Crow. First-time listeners of Darling Parade are quick to convert to dedicated fans in a matter of minutes. In essence, Kearns vocal stylings are a modern missing-link when searching for something different from the standard autotuned bubble-pop or indie-for-the-sake-of-being-indie artists. The band simply refuses to conform to any particular scenes or whatever may be hot at the moment.
Due to a general lack of specific categories out there to decide from where they could proudly enlist their music, the band were left with no choice but to invent an entirely new genre to describe their sound. Bass-player McCoy states, Were pretty much popcore; pop music played hardcore. The band take their invention quite seriously, and realize the consequences of their leading edge. Pulling a quote from one of their all-time favorite movies, Kearns will often tell fans at the beginning of concerts, Were a kind of a big deal.
The band was discovered by industry veteran manager, Scott Frazier, in early 2011. Frazier is the President of Primary Wave Talent Management, a joint venture with Primary Wave Music Publishing. Frazier along with associate partner Manbir Sodhia have spent the last year developing the band including infusing elements with co-writing, developing their image, building a team around the band, etc. This also includes songs written with and recorded by Skidd Mills (Saving Abel), Jon King (The October, Augustana) and a feature vocal and co-write on a track with Stephen Christian from Anberlin.
In the fall of 2011, Darling Parade look forward to releasing a brand new EP and sharing their latest music with what seems to be an ever-expanding fan-base. They are just adding some final touches to the EP, which they are setting a date to release very soon.
The bands new sampler album is essentially a little taste of what the band has been working on within the last several months and is a preview of what can be expected on a full-length record. Sure-to-be-hit-tracks such as Never Wrong, Give It Up, and Remember are truly a first glance of what the quartet have in store. This August, the band shot their first-ever music video, for their lead-single Never Wrong with award-winning director Kurt Nishimura (represented by the agency Hello! And Company), whose previous works have aired on VH1s Top 20 Music Video Countdown as well as during the Grammy Awards broadcasts on CBS. The band currently has serious interest from several labels and will likely not remain unsigned for long. When asked what truly sets the band apart from the crowded music scene nowadays, drummer Conrad simply states on behalf of the rest of the band, We are better. Having played regional shows with artists from Secondhand Serenade to Switchfoot to Sixpence None The Richer, the band look forward to touring nonstop, melting faces, and spreading their feel-good tunes with the rest of the world.
Get ready for a wholesome dose of dreamy American popcore music. Get ready for Darling Parade.