Crooked Orchards, the new album from folk-rock quartet Darling Valley, fits together neatly. This isn’t by accident: It’s the work of a band that has hit a comfortable stride. “We’re all in the same headspace when we’re writing now. We don’t need to compromise where a song is going to go,” says Jordan Stewart, who plays guitar, bass and mandolin.
The album, out June 24 on Sounds and Tones Records of North Adams, Mass., is full of folk ballads, quick rhythms and imaginative lyrics, all rooted in real experience. It’s the first record Darling Valley, two husband and wife duos from upstate New York, will put out with Sounds and Tones. Previously, the band released two full-length albums and an EP under the name ‘Accents.’ Since those releases, multiple songs have been featured in hit MTV dramas and other productions.
The band’s unique blend of folk and indie-rock has a clear direction, despite—or maybe due in part to—the wide variety of instruments used. Lauren Foster, one of the band’s three vocalists, breaks out a pocket-trumpet during “You’ll Go Far, Kid.” Ashleigh Whitfield, another of the band’s vocalists, weaves theatrical-esque piano throughout band-favorite “Five Years at Sea.” All four members of Darling Valley play percussion live, on different drums, at different times. It all combines to create pretty, rich folk-pop with lyrical authenticity, even when a song takes place at sea or during a revolution. “What we’re doing musically is a representation of who we are,” says TJ Foster, who also sings, along with playing guitar, drums and banjo. “What we’re trying to convey comes from experiences and emotions we’ve had.”
You can order Crooked Orchards now at soundsandtonesrecords.com, and it is also available on Spotify and all other major digital distributors.