Earlier this year, back when we still needed winter coats in this town, my dad and I went to check out a band he’d been wanting to see and I’d never heard of. Those Darlins was a group led by three chicks on vocals, bass, and guitar, and a lone dude stuck in the back behind a drumset. We saw them at the Golden West in Hampden, one of Baltimore’s cooler neighborhoods, and you could tell most people in attendance were aware of the cool factor.
When the three short, skinny sisters took the stage, my modest expectations were put into perspective as I found myself suddenly in the 1960s. Jessi Darlin’s voice and ‘tude were something else, and the band put some life and volume into the venue on a weeknight. After their set, we picked up CDs and got the group to sign them. My dad said to the somewhat shy Jessi, “I never got to see the Shangri-Las back in the ’60s, but this came pretty close.” Jessi looked at him with a combination of modesty and humor and said, “That’s really cool.”
In addition to the authentic ’60s sound, the lyrics are pretty clever throughout Those Darlins’ 2011 release Screws Get Loose. One of my favorites, “Be Your Bro,” is about a girl just bein’ honest:
I just wanna be your brother
You just wanna be my boyfriend
I just wanna play in the dirt with you
You just wanna stick it in
Heh. Get it?