Toronto artists, The Darcys, have just become permanent fixtures on our playlists! After listening to their newest track, ‘Washed Away,’ we think you’ll follow suit!
With an EP on the way and an incredible discography to dive into, The Darcys are a duo you must indulge in! We were lucky enough to get to chat with them about all things from their creative process, to be artists during these unprecedented times, to their newfound love of TikTok!
Let’s talk about ‘Running For The Hills.’ What has it been like seeing the reaction to the track?
We’re trying to celebrate every win, big or small. You can only control so much, and that’s a lesson that has taken me a very long time to learn. ‘Running For The Hills’ is so loved, our fans are so amazing, and watching it climb the chart has been incredible. I feel like a proud parent, but after a while, you’re just watching the song do its thing and supporting it any way you can. After a point, it’s not yours anymore. I was trying to remember where I was when I first wrote “I’m running for the hills” on a napkin and thought, “maybe this will be something.” It’s been a trip, but we’re eternally grateful to everyone who has supported it.
‘Washed Away’ is such a deeply meaningful track! Is writing a track that packs this much of a punch an easier writing session because of the emotion behind it or harder for the same reason?
The deeper you go, the more vulnerable you are. Vulnerability can be intimidating, especially in a writing session, if you don’t feel like you’re in a safe space. Jason and I have a great working relationship and are comfortable opening up to each other about things like our mental health. So, I think the answer is both; it can be hard to tap into that good energy, but once you’re there, creating can feel effortless.
Creating in a group scenario is quite different from creating as a solo artist. What are the biggest advantages/disadvantages of the group setting in a creative process sense?
To be honest, I don’t know. Jason and I have been writing together for a very long time, and we’ve managed to develop a shorthand that continues to work for both of us. It’s not often that we’re at odds with each other when it comes to an idea. We may only know one way to make music as The Darcys, but I feel like we’re always trying to tweak and develop that process to better the end result. We’ve both written with a bunch of different artists, and every session brings new challenges, but nothing feels quite as comfortable and free as working on music for our band.
Toronto is such an incredible music city with so much incredible talent hailing from its streets. Have you guys found yourselves drawing inspiration for being in that environment?
I was thinking about this the other day, I’m pretty sure every song we’ve ever written has been during a Toronto winter. When we were trying to follow up ‘Running For The Hills,’ things were grinding a little bit, and we didn’t have a lot of really good ideas cropping up. Months later, we flew home to Toronto to get ready for a bunch of shows which ended up getting canceled due to COVID, so we found ourselves with lots of time to write. Within 10 minutes of shutting the studio door during a snowstorm, we had written 90% of ‘Washed Away.’ Toronto is an amazing place, and I’m always so impressed with the amazing talent coming out of that city.
You guys have been at it in the industry for a decade now, what would you say is the biggest way you’ve watched the industry change? Do you think the change is for the better or the worst?
Our first two records came out before streaming, and looking back, I’m not even sure I remember what that world was like. A lot has changed since we first started releasing music, and it’s easy to gripe about how things used to be. Nostalgia is a tricky thing, but I currently feel the happiest I’ve ever felt releasing music. Maybe that confidence comes from the songs being some of our best, but I also love the connection and access to our fans. The immediacy of releasing songs that feel vital and the freedom provided by our independence. As a truly independent band, the contemporary music landscape has fewer and fewer gatekeepers, and there’s far more accessibility. At the core of what we do, we want to make great music and try to get it to the most people possible. The current climate gives us lots of opportunities to do that, as it seems people are consuming more music than ever and genres are less and less relevant to people’s identities. To be honest, I enjoy the constant evolution of the music industry, though it can be stressful, and I’m starting to have fun with things like TikTok.
We want to know all about the creative process behind ‘Washed Away,’ from the idea in you guys’ heads to getting the final mix completed. How long was the process?
‘Washed Away,’ was by far the easiest and fastest songwriting process we’ve ever been a part of. From the moment we started writing the song, we knew there was something about it, and we tried to let that energy dictate where to go with it. We tend to overthink things, and we often try to muscle a song into a mold. This time, we didn’t try to harness the energy. We just tried to let it dictate to us where to go. You can hear that in ‘Washed Away,’ the song feels exciting and authentic. It’s not overproduced or riddled with a hook every two seconds. It feels real and hits exactly where it should.
The pandemic was hard on everyone, obviously, but as creatives, what was it like operating during that time? Did you guys find it easier to create because of the free time? Harder because of the state of the world and the stress that comes with that?
We were in LA when COVID first reared its head, and we had two choices, stay in LA or fly back to Toronto and spend whatever time we could in our studio creating music. A lot of bands did not have that luxury, and we tried to make the most of it. Spending that time was great for growth and for exploring where we wanted to go next with The Darcys. We knew we wanted to create something sprawling and dreamy, like Fear and Loneliness, and from there, we knew we wanted to essentialize the songwriting process to focus on big riffs and full choruses. I won’t lie, it was hard to find things to write about after a long while of staring at the inside of my house during a lockdown, but that’s what led us to create the universe of Fear and Loneliness.
You’ve had some super cool syncs for your music. If you guys could place ‘Washed Away’ in a TV show which one would it be?
This is a really good question. With sync, you’re usually on the other side of things, you’re pitching to shows looking for music and hoping your music resonates with the supervisor. I’m a big Tom Cruise fan, so if we could ever get ‘Washed Away’ into a Mission Impossible movie, I think I would just about die. On the TV front, I know Netflix is creating a PGA tour show in the mood of Drive to Survive, and my inner golf fan would be delighted with a placement in that show.
Any hints on what we can expect from the EP coming in the fall?
Simplicity, honesty, and big f*cking choruses. All we can control is how we feel about the music we create, and by that measure, this new EP is going to be special.
We know the EP is coming soon, but in the meantime, what can we expect from The Darcys? What is 2022 lining up to look like for y’all?
We want to play as many live shows as humanly possible. We were on stage for the first time in years, and it felt incredible. The energy, the sweat, the singalongs, it felt like exactly where we needed to be. We’re always cooking up strange ideas and releasing new music, and 2022 won’t be any different. We have some amazing stuff coming down the pipe, and we want to keep offering exclusive content to our longtime fans via our newsletter, CLUB DARCYS.
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