Review: Villagers – Darling Arithmetic

Reviewed by:
On 15 April 2015
Last modified:26 October 2018


Villagers Darling Arithmetic cover artwork

It’s fair to say Villagers have had a pretty decent run, in fact, nearly flawless. Both of the Irish bands first two albums were widely acclaimed and received Mercury nominations. Well they are back for a third album, and I am very confident in saying this is their standout effort. Darling Arithmetic feels as if the band listened to debut Becoming a Jackal and said “lets make something like this, and even better.” The album is largely stripped down to acoustic guitars, matched with a bit of piano and the odd taps on the drums. I can sit here and describe its sound to you, but nothing other than listening to the album will reveal how superb it is.

I was glowing with praise two years ago when the band released {Awayland} and here I am doing the same for the follow up. The major difference this time is that Darling Arithmetic is better, a lot better. One of my main problems with the bands sophomore release was that it started to stray away from the sound that made me love the band so much to begin with. Singer Conor O’Brien is a very talented vocalist, however there were times I felt his voice didn’t really fit the direction {Awayland} went. Darling Arithmetic doesn’t have this problem, it has the complete opposite. It was almost like O’Brien told his bandmates that they were gonna make an album that would compliment and bring out his voice. This makes for incredible listening. The album is slightly short at nine tracks, and will certainly leave you wanting more. Of the nine tracks, I believe three are easily among the top five Villagers songs to date. Courage, Everything I Am Is Yours, and Hot Scary Summer are incredible from start to finish. Each possess some familiarity, while offering a whole new feel that will make you hit the repeat button over and over. I think I’ve only listened to the album straight through a couple times due to the sheer catchiness of some of its songs. The album slightly loses its way at the end, but still holds on to deliver what is easily the best album of 2015 thus far.

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Indie is not a genre

Indie is not a genre