With their Cosmic Folk/Americana-sound and vibrant live shows they have already captured hearts of music lovers at South By South West, Folk Alliance International and AmericanaFest, to name some. Now the duo is taking part in Global Music Match, the largest online matchmaking of musicians ever undertaken.
“Tell us about yourself, who are you and how did you how did you come together as a band?”
We’re a duo called Darling West playing Americana/Cosmic Folk, based out of Norway. We are married and were actually a couple long before we started playing together. On one of our trips to the mountains for vacation, about eight years ago, we brought our instruments along with the intention of just having fun playing some traditional old-time songs together. Mari had just bought her first mandolin and could hardly play, and Tor had his old banjo.
While up there a melody appeared that also got lyrics to it during the week, and we had written our first song together. We loved how it felt writing and playing together like that and started spending more time doing it, and suddenly we had a little band project going on. But it was not until after we had released our second album that we started getting really serious about it. From the beginning it was just a little side track to our busy lives as a working musician (Tor) and a florist (Mari). But with the wonderful response that we got on our songwriting, recordings and live shows, we felt like it was actually something there that could grow into something bigger. And it has. Now it’s the main part of our professional (and personal) lives. We play both as a duo and a four-piece band. When we’re able we bring our musicians/friends, Christer Slaaen and Thomas Gallatin, along.
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“Can you tell us a bit about your music, how would you describe it?”
We would call it Americana (Nordicana, if you like) or Folk. They’re both wide genres that contain a lot of influences. We draw inspiration from American Country Rock music and the more Folky styles of the 60´s and 70´s, such as Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Fleetwood Mac and Jackson Browne. And on the more contemporary side, acts like Blake Mills, Ethan Gruska and Sufjan Stevens.
We started out in a dogmatic fashion with only acoustic instruments, rooted in the bluegrass/old-time scene. But over the last few years we’ve introduced more Pop elements in both our songwriting and live performances, adding more electric instruments, drums and keyboards. Now we’re trying to coin the phrase Cosmic Folk, since we’re bending the Folk genre by adding some West Coast and Pop in there.
“What inspires you when creating music?”
Nature, for sure. We normally go up to the Norwegian mountains to write music, to get close to the beautiful scenery and to find peace and quiet to get dedicated work done. Whenever we’re out on tour or traveling otherwise, we like to take the scenic routes to get the most out of the trip and see new places.
Then there’s other people’s music of course. We love listening to music in the car while driving, discovering both old and new artists that can give us a new take on existence or inspire the craft, or generally widen our perspectives.