Indie, Pop, Rock
Spoon , Death Cab For Cutie, Dappled Cities
James O'Brien (voice, bass guitar, keys, guitar) Tom Baker (guitar, keys, voice) Zac Rush (guitar) Dan Parsons (drums, voice)
Hot Chip, Spoon, Panda Bear, Toumani Diabate
Darling James is the moniker of Melbourne-based songwriter James O'Brien. Originally used as a vehicle for songs pieced together in late night bedroom recordings while touring as a sideman for other acts, O'Brien quickly expanded the project into a blistering four-piece live band.
No stranger to the Australian music scene, O’Brien has delved into many projects since he first came to attention with seminal Brisbane-come-Melbourne indie darlings The Boat People. This is the band with which he would experience and endure most, as a co-frontman and songwriter of at least eight triple j high rotation singles from three acclaimed albums that also made their mark on Los Angeles’ KCRW and the UK’s Radio 1. The Boat People travelled to the U.S. no less than six times (playing SXSW twice) toured the UK multiple times and played on home soil at the likes of Big Day Out, Woodford Folk Festival, Valley Fiesta, Sunset Sounds and support slots for artists such as David Byrne, The Shins, Powderfinger, Crowded House, Washington, Tim Rogers and Augie March.
Beyond this list, O’Brien co-wrote and sung YesYou’s breakout radio hit ‘Half Of It’ in 2011 and worked as side man in the much-lauded Machine Translations with whom he has toured nationally multiple times. Working as bassist for Kate Miller-Heidke, O’Brien performed at Splendour In The Grass and Southbound as well as tours in Australia, Singapore and Vietnam.
2015 saw the release of Darling James' debut single, the mesmerising, sizzling, building ‘Ultimatum Talk’. From a beguiling ukulele loop to a psych-rock explosion of organs and drums ‘Ultimatum Talk’ quickly connected with listeners, was added to rotation on triple j and knocked up over 100,000 plays on Spotify. Sold-out hometown shows and interstate tours followed including spots with The Church and Dan Kelly. Second single ‘The Itch’ was an incessant, stomping trip through fizzing synths, falsetto vocals and O'Brien's manic pop magic which earned kudos from Wally De Backer (Gotye) and was the number one song on Melbourne’s SYN FM. Now Darling James brings us new single ‘God’s Graffiti’, a mix of exotic instrumentation (zither, marimba) over a head-nodding dance beat laced with guttural fuzzed-out guitar and a wonky sing-along chorus. A take on the classic theme of regret and redemption filtered through O’Brien’s melancholy but manic view of the world ‘God’s Graffiti’ will be followed by Darling James’ debut E.P. ‘Theory of Mind’ in late 2016. Catch Darling James opening for much-lauded Melbourne based songwriter Olympia in November.