Darling Valley is:
TJ Foster – Vocals, Guitars, Drums, Bass, Banjo, Percussion
Lauren Foster – Vocals, Trumpet, Percussion
Ashleigh Whitfield – Vocals, Keys, Percussion
Jordan Stewart – Guitars, Mandolin, Bass, Percussion
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.
“[Crooked Orchards] is stuffed full of tunes with vocal melodies that I can’t say no to, elite instrumental performances, and enough lyrical poignancy to knock the socks off a skeptic or two. It’s the sort of album that makes you remember why folk-pop was fun in the first place, while showing that the genre can support more than skin-deep sentiments.” — Independent Clauses
“…wonderful folk-pop that is the perfect balance of radio-friendliness and old fashioned goodness…” — 1340mag
“A mixture of melancholic lyrical content and upbeat ditties, this album is a must for those who love their indie rock with a folk twist.” — Golden Mixtape
“Meticulously crafted… Crooked Orchards is a wonderfully written album with a ton of heart.” — Team Reasonable
“There are so many good tracks [on Crooked Orchards] that it’s obvious they’ve come into their own stylistically.” — The Berkshire View
“[The four] multi-instrumentalists are testaments to a premier ensemble. Listening to Darling Valley will also provide three things you didn’t know you needed: tight vocal harmony, a variety of instruments and an overwhelming mix of heartbreak, encouragement and joy. And for that, we are grateful for Crooked Orchards.” — NYS Music
“Full of quaint melodies and endearing vocals… Darling Valley seem to include hints of every emotion and musical technique on [Crooked Orchards], making it well worth a full listen.” — Discover Indie/Alternative (DI/AM)
“Tall Tales is a document of how great a band can get in a relatively short span of time. This record is a keeper…” — Team Reasonable
“…As the first album revolved around the hardships of growing up, the sophomore release echoes acceptance, adulthood and thereby nostalgia of days passed. In essence, it is a much more warm release. The first impressions of this record are second to none. Going to this in the space of two years is a massive achievement…” — RockFreaks
“…a brilliant accomplishment that in lesser hands would be a disjointed mess. Tall Tales is very worth your time…” — Independent Clauses
“With their complimentary male and female duets and penchant for storytelling, [this is] basically what The Decemberists would sound like on anti-depressants…” — Decoy Music
“Growth and Squalor is a warm, honest and insightful look into our world today. It is a message designed to reach as many people as it can. It’s a gorgeous, atmospheric slice of indie-folk music. And in any case, this is one of the best albums of the year [9.5/10].” — AbsolutePunk.net
“…aims for the heart and does everything but kick you in the head with tender melodic passages, effortless transitions and a musical mindset that makes me think twice about labeling them as just indie rock. This is a band in full control of their commitments, expertly shaping each build and fall to their specific point. Raises the bar for indie musicians everywhere…” — Infectious Magazine