Deadbeat Darling
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Deadbeat Darling

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Deadbeat Darling - The Angel's Share album review"

Hailing from Brooklyn can be no bad thing when you're in a band, since many artists have survived its pitfalls, soaked its gritty beauty and lived to sing the tale. Here's Deadbeat Darling, an alternative-rock outfit who have clearly been drinking in the New York sun, as well as sneaking a few spins of Brit-rockers such as The Police, The Chameleons and Stateside successes like The Killers (early stuff). And you know what? For the most part, Deadbeat Darling have nailed it, but not without faults.

"The Angel's Share" is an eleven-track selection of tribal drums, chiming guitars and soaring vocals, which might sound like a Snow Patrol album to you - it's OK, you can come out now, they're better than that. For a start, they kick off with the offbeat and off kilter anthem that is, "Insomnia Salvation", which I can only assume is a homage to Calpol or Diazepam, judging by its title. Those big drums reappear throughout the album, not least on the obvious single-choice, "Surf India" and the previously issued "Promises" (an Allgigs single of the week last year).

But don't go thinking that this is all about pomp and bluster - the Deadbeats really can write the songs to back it up, plus they can also change tack for some of them, although I'm not too convinced with the reggae-flavoured "Peculiar Grace". Far better are the three closing songs, the percussive "Still Standing", the very grown-up "Loaded Game of Chance" and the mildly-skanking "Last Scene In Paris", the former marking the end of a decidedly barren middle section on this album. Joseph King's husky vocals are distinctive enough to be discernible from other alt-rock bands around at the moment, plus Ken Nelson's is pin-sharp throughout - the Coldplay producer has triumphed in making Deadbeat Darling sound like a band on the up after 7 years tough slog. Promising.

Paul Pledger -

"Review - Deadbeat Darling 'The Angel's Share'"

If you’re looking for an album full of infectious summer songs, then look no further than Deadbeat Darlings current offering, The Angel’s Share. This is a band living a bit below the radar, but have little reason to do so. The raw talent found on the band’s second record is a rare treat.

The New York four piece’s unique brand of surf rock infused with indie, alternative and straight up rock music sets them apart from other bands around. This is evident in the lead single “Promises”, which see’s singer Joseph King throw his voice from initially romantic to finally aggressive.

But this isn’t the only stand out track. The guitar in “Surf India” will get stuck in your head before the song is done, while “Call Bobby” is a song which build from simple to an arena filling tune.

It’s tough to not be cheerful while listening to their music. I cycled through London while “Body Gives Up The Ghost” rang in my ears, with a smile on my face and I’m sure a taxi driver shouting in my direction. But this album is such an easy listen, that it’s hard to focus on much else.

So, to put it simply, pick up this album. It is easily one of the best ways you can spend 45 minutes this summer. And you’ll be hearing a lot about this band in the near future – so you may as well find out what all the fuss is about. - Glasswerk

"Vulture Hound Review"

Four Americans in leather jackets are sat around a table in the Bull and Gate, sipping beer and reminiscing about how they met. They are Deadbeat Darling, and if you haven’t heard of them yet, you soon will. The band signed with UK indie label Spear Havoc last March. Grammy-award winning producer Ken Nelson then produced their album, The Angel’s Share, which is due out on 2 April.

Lead singer Joseph King says: “Not everyone agreed on the name but those who didn’t aren’t in the band anymore.” But he assures me that these days they are a democracy and that the song containing that lyric is no longer played. Then along came drummer Evan Howard, a classically trained jazz musician. King jokes that the drummer: “…crossed to the dark side of rock and roll.”

Deadbeat Darling came together as a marriage of musical interests. King continues: “We didn’t grow up playing hopscotch together. We moved in the same musical circles in New York.” This gives them a tangible sense of professional camaraderie, and in keeping with this, King name-drops fellow New York bands – White Taxi, Caveman – as well as bigger names like The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. “TV on the Radio,” pipes up bass player Ian Everall. “They do sexy stuff.”

Their music is largely based on the soft rock that had its heyday in the early noughties. But this won’t holding them back. They have a sizable following both in the UK and across the pond. King contemplates this. “We have a younger fan base here and I wouldn’t be surprised if it eclipsed the one we have in America.”

That evening, they take to the stage and deliver a set of tunes that sit in the middle of the raw-to-polished spectrum. Their sound is distinctly American and reminiscent of Train’s hit ‘Drops of Jupiter’. It has emotionally rousing melodies, masculine vocals and tender, meaningful lyrics. Plus, King has a delightfully husky voice that compliments Bhansali’s yearning, reverb-heavy guitar riffs.

They have a retro feel, with their more upbeat tracks bringing Razorlight and The Police to mind, but their added quirks keep it fresh. Howard’s jazz background is evident as he adds flourishes and fills to standard rhythms. The subtle complexity of the bass lines adds countermelodies to round off each song. Their sound varies between all-out rock and edgy ballads as King alternates between acoustic and electric guitars.

They have a clear idea about what they want to achieve. Opening for The Strokes, collaborating with The Streets and breaking onto the British festival circuit are all mentioned. They have a widely appealing sound that is unique in the current musical climate. One of their choruses is still floating around my head three days later. 2012 could be the year soft rock becomes cool again.
- Vulture Hound

"Album Review -- The Deli NYC"

"Deadbeat Darling's "Weight of Wandering” mesmerizes listeners with gentle reggae waves, sprinkles of exotic modulation, a dab of Dub, and tinges of electronica... Fusing an enchanting instrumentation with (Joseph) King’s soaring, soothing, and shining vocals that attend to every nuance and touch every emotion, the Brooklyn quartet creates a “zen-rock” experience on their ten-track album.... “Weight of Wandering” is heavy with poeticism that is matched by substantial musicality."

~Meijin Bruttomesso, The Deli NYC - The Deli NYC

"AV Club"

"(Joseph's) newest, New York-based project, Deadbeat Darling, takes a more mesmeric tack, emphasizing the negative space rhythms of dub and reggae while allowing the slinky electronic pulses King—an avowed trip-hop fan—has always favored to dictate the mood rather than merely enhance it."

--Adam Macchia, AV Club, The Onion, New York - AV Club , The Onion, New York

"Critics Pick: Deadbeat Darling"

"Deadbeat Darling... excels at jagged, stutter-step, reggae-inflected material, such as "Brother, Brother" and "Johnny", two highlights from their 2007 EP Belle Epoch. In a sense, the band recalls an early post-punk period when bands such as Gang of Four, The Police, and The Members liberated rock from its four-four conventions."

- Gilbert Garcia, Music Editor, San Antonio Current - San Antonio Current

"NYC Artist on the Rise: Deadbeat Darling"

"If you like skank and tremolo guitars intertwining with synths and effected drums, and a peculiar swirl of rock, pop, dub and electronica, then you will probably enjoy the show..."

Deli Staff - The Deli NYC

"Deadbeat Darling does show and tell"

"Deadbeat Darling's music pulsates and breathes. It's electronic rock that brings to mind bands like the Killers and the Strokes."

~ Hector Saldana, Music Critic, SA Express - San Antonio Express

"He's No Deadbeat, Darling Joseph's A (Heavy) Weight Of Wandering"

Thinking back, I think I first heard of Joseph King in NYC, but I remember that I first saw him live in Austin - at a SXSW day party, a tip from Tommy, the booker at the Rockwood. Now leading his band Deadbeat Darling, there is a new album - Weight Of Wandering - to promote and shows this Saturday at Antone's in Austin and then next Friday at Bowery Ballroom in NYC. So, ahead of those gigs, here is the back story of the original man in tights

Indie Sounds: OK Joseph, let's start at the beginning ...

Joseph King: So I began playing guitar and attempting to sing and write songs at about age 12, though I've been told it was a less than pleasant experience for those subjected to my early prodigy. As far as influences, my older brother gave me my first guitar and vocal lesson, and I suppose a few of my first musical influences would have to be Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Marley, and the Fleetwood Mac Rumours album. My first real experiences as a performer though came as a dancer as opposed to a musician ...

I took modern ballet classes in high school (in San Antonio, Texas), at first as a supplemental activity to athletics (I was a "serious" basketball player), and then because I loved performance and wearing tights. Songwriting was at the time definitely the creative pursuit I enjoyed most, but was not my central focus as of yet ...

IS: How did you get into making music as a serious endeavor?

Joseph: I ended up going to Stanford University, and there found myself quickly losing interest in the kind of academic pursuits that would eventually lead to any sort of professional career. The would-be Econ major was now a Religious Studies major, and was much more likely to be found writing songs and smoking as much Northern Cali grass as humanly possible than going to class.

I put together my first fledgling band then, and within a year was playing shows in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and up and down the California Coast. I think we were really bad, and probably a bit cheesy as well, for which I take all the blame.

Directly upon graduating, I moved with the band to San Francisco, bought a little RV for touring, and began booking six week tours throughout the West Coast, Southwest and Texas. We lived in a three bedroom house with a couple of my other more eccentric friends - six of us total. The other guys included a house/trance DJ, and a guy who was my "booking agent/manager" as well as a horticulturalist specializing in "fungus" at the time.

It was quite the bohemian scene - upstairs rattling with the incessant thump of trance music, the garage filled with the loud vibrations of band practice, and a 70 gallon aquarium filled with, well ... We found ourselves chasing the ghosts of beatniks down the streets of North Beach and Haight, in between tours that took us to dive bars in Ogden, Utah and Flagstaff, Arizona, among many other American metropolises. It was quite a fun experience, and I definitely logged many highway miles, but I am not so sure if we weren't spinning our wheels most of the time.

IS: Then you moved to Austin ... why?

Joseph: The band, which was by now called Canvas, had played through Austin a couple of times and had some really great shows there. We got accepted into SXSW in 1999, and basically packed all our shit into the RV and moved down during the festival. We found a band house in South Austin, replaced a couple of the members who stayed behind, and started playing the club scene in Austin. Being from South Texas, it was sort of like coming home for me, but it was also really the band thrusting itself straight into the middle of a thriving music scene.

IS: You had a couple of bands .. tell us about them ...

Joseph: Canvas was my sole project and musical identity for about seven years. We had a really great run, and truly lived the local rockstar lifestyle. We put out two EPs and three full lengths, and developed a crazy cult following throughout Texas and the Midwest. Our music was a bit heavier and on the tribal side, and our shows incorporated fire dancers and performance art. We were invited to play all sorts of festivals, from the Toadies farewell show in Waterloo Park to pagan festivals in the middle of nowhere to biker rallies in the middle of the West Texas desert. We earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the hardest-partying bands around, but we also worked our asses off and toured incessantly.

Our Austin shows were always packed, and so were the after parties. Man, if my dog Killer could talk ... We toured with some amazing bands then too ... Blue October, Spoonfed Tribe, Goudie, and got a little bit of radio love as well. We had label interest and definite regional success, but ultimately I think we missed our window for a myriad of reasons, many of which were arguably our own fault. Besides that, my musical taste began to diverge from the rest of the band's, so it wasn't long till it was going to come unraveled.

I also had another project in 2004 called Murder, My Sweet, which was more of a songwriting collaboration between a guitar player named Mark Younger-Smith (Billy Idol, Charlie Sexton) and myself. It was actually my first straight up 50/50 collaboration, and was really enjoyable. The music was kind of dark and electro, and we performed a few times live, but I left the project shortly after moving to NYC.

IS: What caused the move to NYC?

Joseph: So as I was saying before, towards the end of my Canvas days, I had started to feel like the project had run its course. Creatively, energetically, and from a growth perspective, I felt like we had flat-lined. As a frontman, i was finding it increasingly difficult to be what Canvas needed me to be, and as a songwriter, I was dying to pursue some influences that i wasn't really allowed to explore in Canvas.

During the summer of 2005, a yogi friend living in NYC (who happens to be the same "manager/horticulturalist" from back in my SF days) invited me to come stay with him for a week in his place in the East Village. A tiny music venue called Rockwood Music Hall had recently opened up on Allen Street, and they were willing to give an unknown songwriter from Austin an early Thursday night show. So during that stay I played my first Rockwood show, and made the decision to move to New York City by Fall. My girlfriend Katrina had just finished cullinary school, and we both had some ghosts to leave behind in Austin, not to mention a couple of nasty addictions on my part. Everyone seems to think its ridiculous to move to New York to clean up, but it made perfect sense to me.

I moved to NYC in October 2005, and spent the first six months recording demos of new material and playing solo shows. With a clean slate musically, I was able to embrace some of the dub/reggae and trip-hop influences that I had been dying to write towards. I discovered Alex Wong playing drums at Rockwood one night, and after a bit of cyber-stalking, invited him to play drums with me. Then I met Sanjay Jain through a mutual friend for whom he was playing bass. I convinced him to play with me as well, and the three of us played a series of shows in 2006 as the "Joseph King Trio". What a silly name ...

IS: And so began Deadbeat Darling ...

Joseph: I guess Deadbeat Darling begins with the addition of Mohit Bhansali to the band in early 2007. Everyone, including myself, wanted a proper band name instead of the Joseph King Trio. After much debate, we decided on Deadbeat Darling, a lyric from one of my songs which ironically, we don't even play anymore.

We started building a bit of a fanbase throughout the year, and packed out Rockwood, The Annex, Arlene's Grocery. We then recorded and released our first EP, belle epoch, at the end of 2007, with our first sold-out show at Piano's. We recorded the EP on our own and mixed it with Chris Coady (TV on the Radio, Blonde Redhead, Trail of Dead) at Staygold Studios in Williamsburg. This EP gave us a little directional sonically and vibe-wise, but I think lands somewhere in between a proper release and a really great demo. You should still buy it though ...

~ Pete Harris, Editor & Founder, Indie Sounds NY & Austin

- Indie Sounds NY & Austin


Promises - single released November 2011 (Radio 1, Xfm and Kerrang! Radio airplay)

Surf India - single released March 2012 (Radio 1 & Xfm Airplay)

The Angel's Share - album released April 2012

Weight of Wandering - June 2009
Belle Epoch EP - 2007



Deadbeat Darling are curently splitting theit time between New York and London. After selling out some of NYC's most prestigious venues over the course of the last 3 years, the band was signed by UK label Spearhavoc Records in March 2011 and promptly whisked away from Brooklyn to record in Wales with Grammy award winning producer Ken Nelson (Coldplay, Badly Drawn Boy).

The album, titled "THE ANGEL'S SHARE", was mixed by another Grammy award winner, Adrian Bushby (Muse, Foo Fighters), and was released in the UK in April 2012.

Singles 'Promises' and 'Surf India' have achieved airplay on BBC Radio 1, Xfm and Kerrang! Radio

With a bit of downtown swagger and post-indie charm, their sound weaves together rock with hints of surf and dub. A native of neither extreme, their lifestyle toggles between Brooklyn dive bars and the mise en scene of the West Side's fashion district; their live show is a sweaty barrage of unrestrained energy and mischievous sway that leaves little doubt as to why Deadbeat Darling has garnered such a rabid and eclectic following...

Deadbeat Darling is Joseph King, Sanjay Jain, Mohit Bhansali & Evan Howard

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