Darling Arithmetic is the third album coming from Irishman Conor J. O’Brien’s band Villagers, via DominoDarling Arithmetic could not have come to the top of my pile at a better time than now. For what seems like aeons, there have been forecasts of torrential rains in my area and there’s been nothing but heat lightning dancing around in the purple pearl-colored heavens. Today though, not too soon past midnight, the rain came tumbling down, tumbling down, tumbling down. So much tumbled down, in fact, that it caused a flash flood on my college campus. All this to say, Darling Arithmetic is the perfect album for those rainy afternoons. I know some of you might be sick of the whole folk revival that seems to be overtaking the indie scene at large, but I’m happy to report that O’Brien and company do enough to differentiate themselves from their coffee house-bound colleagues. It’s like a combination of Fleet Foxes, Lambchop and The Antlers (vocally speaking). Check out the single “Courage” below via the YouTube video and a preview of the album by clicking through the EU’s buy link so you can see what you think of it. Cheers!


The Details

Darling Arithmetic is the third album from Villagers, released on 13th April 2015. The follow-up to Conor O’Brien’s debut, Becoming a Jackal, and its successor, Awayland - both hugely acclaimed and Mercury-nominated - is a breathtakingly beautiful, intimate album entirely about love and relationships.

Darling Arithmetic was written, recorded, produced and mixed by O’Brien at home - the loft of a converted farmhouse that he shares in the coastal town of Malahide to the north of Dublin - revealing a single-minded artist at the peak of his already considerable songwriting powers. It encompasses the various shades of feeling – desire, obsession, lust, loneliness and confusion, and deeper into philosophical and existential territory, across a cast of lovers, friends, family and even strangers. Backing up his supple and emoting vocal and guitar is the subtlest palate of instrumentation – piano, Mellotron (which accounts for the album’s occasional horn and cello tones) and brushes. O’Brien plays every instrument on these exquisite, melodic songs in a sparse, spacious, acoustic-leaning fashion.

On Darling Arithmetic, O’Brien doesn’t only pare back his use of language but looks deep into his own heart and motives. The opening track and first single, ‘Courage’, concerns the most important kind of love – for yourself: “It took a little time to get where I wanted / It took a little time to get free / It took a little time to be honest / It took a little time to be me.”

Price $20

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