Americana Highways brings you this premiere of Darling West’s song “Still Here” from their forthcoming album Cosmos. Cosmos was produced by Darling West (Mari Sandvær Kreken, Tor Egil Kreken, Christer Slaaen and Thomas Gallatin) and recorded in FA Studio by Christer Slaaen & Thomas Gallatin with additional recordings in Ocean Sound. The album was mixed by Kai Worley and mastered by George Tanderø.
“Still Here” is Mari on vocals; Tor Egil on Fender Bass VI, banjo and vocals; Christer on acoustic rubber guitar, electric guitars, mellotrone and vocals; Thomas on vocals, drums, and percussion; and David Wallumrød on keys (juno 60). Remember the thrill of the way-too-late-night phone calls? And then things grow, and they change. This song takes you back so gently, with a nimble delivery and crystal clear production style.
Being in a long-term relationship is not always easy, as you can tell from a lot of songs in any genre. This one explores a moment when you realize that you have to deal with something and not put it on hold any longer. Most of us have been in these situations. It can fall both ways, but you have to choose. Work on it or let it go.
Making this record has been a somewhat different process than the previous ones. For one we’ve included our band, guitar player Chris and drummer Thomas (@darlingeast), more in the songwriting. This has been so rewarding, and something that has brought us even closer together, both personally and musically. Another thing that is different, is that we’ve taken the leap into producing the album entirely by ourselves, in Chris’ studio. Between the four of us we have different strengths and ways of hearing things, and you might think it would have led to more friction than there actually was. After years of playing together both in and out of this band, we’ve come to respect and trust each other, as well as being direct and speaking our minds. A little like brothers and sisters, I guess, with all of what that includes.
But the songs are still about life and its dealings, for us personally and others around us. We must admit that a few of them are inspired by all that’s recently been happening in the world, seeing people we love really struggle with having their world turned upside down, and also having to deal with that situation ourselves. We wanted to try to convey a message or hope and better times ahead.
After doing our Family Sessions on YouTube during Covid – where we invited other artists to perform songs with us – we wanted to bring that vibe with us to some extent on the album as well, so we asked a few friends to join us. Matthew Logan Vasquez (solo, Delta Spirit) laid down such a powerful vocal track on “Light Ahead.” And our dear friend Michaela Anne sang beautiful harmony vocals on two songs. One day after we had recorded a Family Session with Norwegian superstar Bernhoft, we slyly asked him if he wanted to maybe sing on a song we were working on as well, and he ended up providing us with a one-man choir singing a bunch of harmonies while also adding some very soulful ad-libs. You can hear the result on “Wild Dreams”. Last, but not least, we had a dream of getting Rob Moose to play strings on a song or two. He’s played on so many of our favorite albums, by artists such as Ethan Gruska, Blake Mills and Bon Iver. We reached out, and were beyond thrilled when he said yes. The feeling as we listened back to “Till Night Turn to Day” for the first time after he had recorded strings was incredible. We were all in awe. He’s also on the track called “Old Man,” that we released as a single in December last year. — Mari Sandvær Kreken, Tor Egil Kreken
Follow the band on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/darlingwest/
Enjoy our previous coverage here: REVIEW: Darling West New Release “While I Was Asleep”