The Darcys
Gig Seeker Pro

The Darcys

Band Rock New Age


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"The Darcys"

It's funny how life works out, it's all just a matter of timing;
strangers that pass in an alley on their way in opposite directions,
for example, may end up the best of friends, lovers or not even
notice each other if they happen to be looking the wrong way or,
in the case of a band like The Darcys, four guys with similar
musical interests may live within blocks of each other for most of
their lives, but not have the opportunity to play together until they
leave home and go to the same place by happenstance.
“We all went to a small part of Dalhousie in Halifax called
King’s College and met through a super obscure philosophy
program that we all took,� explains guitarist Kirby Best of The
Darcys’ remarkable twist of fate. “Jason [Couse] and Wes
[Marskell] – who are our drummer and lead guitar player
respectively – were childhood friends and had been playing
together since they both started to learn and they'd tried a few
things but it hadn't really gone anywhere. They met Dave [Hurlow]
though, who plays bass, and he overheard me talking in the
library about this band – I was kind of a sideman - that wasn't
really going the way I thought it should.
“He heard in that conversation too that I had been writing
songs and he told Wes and Jason. There was this big Halloween
party at the bar that we all happened to be at later on and they
took the opportunity to introduce themselves. We hit it off and
the next day we had band practice.
“It's just funny to us that we're all from Toronto and
Etobicoke; we just happened to meet out in Halifax.�
That was two years ago and, since then, the band's fortunes
have only improved as they've continually converted more fans
with each successive show and recently had the opportunity to
record their debut full–length, Endless Water. The album,
recorded after hours at Kitchener-Waterloo's own Children’s Museum last summer, is a fine, icy slab of shoegazing pop
boasting a mercurial quality that's remarkably enticing;
instrumental parts materialize and vanish as songs like “A Series
Of Prayers�, “Where Are Your Daughters?� and the title track float
methodically along on tides of chorus and echo effects directly
into the pleasure centre any listener's brain. According to Kirby,
getting out of the GTA was exactly what the band needed too;
without many distractions from family or friends, the band was
able to pull really long hours in order to make sure that
everything about Endless Water was as they wanted. “We did two
weeks in the Children’s Museum working after hours while it was
closed,� explains the guitarist of their surrealist surroundings
during recording “A friend of ours is going to school at Ryerson
and he made our CD his final project for the year so he brought
his Pro Tools rig up. We did a bit of stuff with kids, it became sort
of a ‘making of’ exhibit during the day and then, when the
museum closed at five, we’d work on the record and then we'd go
until sunrise. We ended up sleeping a couple of nights in the
“We wanted to get out of town to record the album so we
could concentrate on what we were doing and it was really
appealing to work both for the amount of time we did and in the
very large room we had,� continues Best. “We got a lot of really
fun stuff that we thought would be great to try – like placing
microphones 30 feet away from amps and the drum kit to get
bigger sounds – that we wouldn't have been able to get
Full–length touring plans to support Endless Water have been
put on hold while a couple of the band's members finish their
studies at King’s College, but in the meantime the band has
elected to do short bursts of shows and one–offs both to keep
themselves sharp and to keep their fanbase growing. According to Best, whose dayjob is as a copyrighter at the Canadian Copyright
Agency, he's been absolutely floored by the band’s reception thus
far; every musician says they can't believe how lucky they are, but
when so much material crosses your desk at work, it’s difficult for
the guitarist to believe that any indie band without any sort of
backing could have an impact which makes the band's initial
success very gratifying. “I always have a hard time believing that
people like it that much, but they keep coming back,� laughs Best
self–depricatingly. “I go through about 500 songs a day and it's
just scary to me when I realize how many albums get released
every year, and then I come home and I try to write songs
wondering if what we're doing is that much different from all the
other stuff that's coming out. We just put it out of our heads as
much as possible; we have fun together, we have fun
experimenting in the studio, and that’s what we have to
concentrate on and whatever happens after that, if people get into
it and like it, is out of our hands.
“Half the battle is being able to take whatever comes – be it
luck or talent or whatever – but in order to get anything, you have
to be willing to get out there and try. That's the feel–good moral
at the end.� - Echo Weekly

"The Darcys Endless Water"

Live, Toronto/Halifax’s the Darcys can pull off an eye watering Final Fantasy cover, so I was interested to see how their sweaty, excruciatingly inspiring live sets translated to record and in the process, I found a stunning collection of songs. Recorded at the Waterloo Regional Children’s Museum and mastered by Brian Moncarz (the Junction), this is not your regular debut album; it’s very special. The band play orchestral pop with romantic Radiohead-esque tones and danceable, entirely fresh sounding blends. With help from the good ol’ Macbook, the songs reach above and beyond any boundaries while subtly incorporating classic rock guitar work (“I am a Ship”) and tying everything together in a familiar sounding fashion. Some French lyrics crawl out from beneath the sprawling melodies in the title track and some post-rock Explosions in the Sky influences enhance the emotional “When We Were a Wilderness.” The Darcys are a band best experienced live, but these intimate recordings do them justice. (Independent) - Exclaim!

"The Darcys pack the Albion for a high-energy show"

It's bizarre weather for early January. A torrential downpour has erupted outside and Guelph looks dark and flooded. "I wasn't nervous until it started raining," remarks Wes Marskell, the drummer for the Halifax-bred band The Darcys. The band is slated to play the Albion, but the curious forecast has got them questioning potential turnout. The seemingly erratic weather perhaps a perfect Guelph welcoming for their debut album, Endless Water.

The band is comprised of Kirby Best, Marskell, Jason Couse, Dave Hurlow, and its newest addition, Mike LeRiche. While the group has been extremely fortunate in routinely playing large and excited audiences, they have also had brushes with less than full crowds.

Couse describes one particular show in London, Ontario that had them playing in a nearly abandoned and decrepit death metal bar. The Darcys always perform their shows clad in retro suits and unshaven manes that don't initially scream death metal. However, after hearing the band play, it's not hard to imagine even the biggest of Slayer fans being won over by their energetic live show.

"Not many people showed up" to the London show, Couse says. "You have to be prepared for that and remind yourself that you are doing this for you."

Marskell notes that these are the times when he feels like a rock band the most. "When there are six people in the room who just came to check you out, you have to put in that extra step to win them over opposed to when you are playing to a larger crowd of your friends," he says.

The Darcys' sound is difficult to define. While they seem noticeably influenced by bands like Radiohead and Wilco, it is perhaps their rejection of any sort of blueprint that best defines them. They note that not defining their sound gives them more freedom and allows them to write for themselves instead of a certain audience. "Radiohead doesn't have a 'sound', so they don't have to please or adhere to anyone," says Marskell.

Not becoming too comfortable with their music seems to be a concern for the band. Their recent addition of trumpet player and guitarist LeRiche was an attempt at making sure things didn't get stale. Not only did it provide guitarist Couse with some healthy competition, but it was also a way of musically evolving the band and its writing process.

Their unique recording of the album, which took place in the Waterloo Children's Museum after hours, allowed them to experiment sonically and the results can be heard on such tracks as "Strange Fits" in which distant children's voices are heard.

When asked what they feel their greatest accomplishments as a band have been so far, Couse responds that he recently learned they sold two albums in Texas and received a download from a Philadelphia radio station. He realizes this doesn't sound like a lot, but he says, "It's just exciting to be getting interest outside of the places where we play." Marskell says one of his biggest accomplishments is listening to the album and not cringing. These are rather humble responses for a band that has been garnering nothing but critical praise for their work.

As for the future of The Darcys, they are hoping to get on a tour with a bigger band like Plants and Animals or Wintersleep and tour across Canada. They note that these bands would be able to draw a larger crowd than The Darcys could. "Past Thunder Bay we know nobody," admits Couse.

As for Tuesday's concert itself, it seems weather wasn't a deterrent for people. As the band's ten o'clock set approached, the bar became increasingly full. By the time The Darcys went on, it was a struggle to even catch a glimpse of them on stage. The audience was receptive to the music and it was clear the band was playing off this energy.

"When an audience projects a spirit onto you, it's hard to screw up," says Marskell.

Considering some of The Darcys believe a sparsely filled venue is the mark of being a rock band, I propose they consider a jam-packed Albion on a rainy Tuesday as a close second.

- The Ontarion

"Endless Water, endless talent"

Of all the albums I've heard in the last few months, I have to say that Endless Water, the debut from The Darcys, is one of the more intriguing. Their Myspace bio lists them as hailing from Toronto/Halifax (which, for those who don't know their Canadian geography too well, are 18 hours and a very large time zone apart), and their music seems just as unsure of the identity it wants to go for.

Actually, "unsure" is probably the wrong word, since The Darcys are clearing not lacking in confidence. When they strive for a particular sound, they go for it wholeheartedly, regardless of whether it's classic rock ("We Twin"), modern-sounding dance rock ("I'm A Ship") or some point in between (for example, the atmospheric twin punch of "When We Are A Wilderness" and "Untitled (Bedroom Beats)", or the difficult-to-describe "New Jr."). Whereas most young bands seem to take tentative steps in a few different directions on their first albums, these guys embrace however they sound at the moment, and as a result they sound like they know what they're doing, even if they're still not sure who they are. Based on what's on display on Endless Water, I'm willing to bet that The Darcys will excel regardless of what sound they eventually settle on.
- i (heart) music

"The Darcys - Endless Water"

Just last year you could have called The Darcys local. With the band graduating from basement recording sessions and the members graduating from King's, you would now have to call them a Toronto band.

But don't hold it against them, because their new album, Endless Water, kicks ass.

The Darcys jump ship with a song called "Strange Fits," opening with public noise and what sounds like someone snapping a bunch of toothpicks in the middle of a deserted museum.

A low-fi indie rendition of a reverb guitar riff follows, along with violin that sounds like it belongs in a film score. The vocals weave a path of soothing sound.

Endless Water is packed with songs that make you wish you were sitting in a vast country field with a significant other, one of you in dusty old country slacks, the other in a white spring dress, picking flowers. It's music you could nap to, or dance in the tall grass to.

The Darcys' music feels like country rock, sounds like low-fi Canadian indie, with enough funk in the middle to make a nice little Darcy cake. Delicious!

The band even throws in some French lyrics. With this bilingualism, you'd think they were another rip-apart-your-heart Montreal indie band.

I curse whoever didn't invite them to the Pop Explosion this year. But it makes sense - they've already exploded. Just wait for the shockwave. - The Dalhousie Gazette

"East of Easter Island"

"here is a band that could easily be shortlisted for a future Polaris prize…The Darcys"
- Grant Lawrence, Polaris Prize Juror - CBC Radio 3

"The Darcys get lucky with tour, CBC"

According to all prevailing wisdom about how the music industry works, the article shouldn't exist.
You're not supposed to be able to book your first tour by cold-calling venues less than a month ahead of time.
If you recorded your first EP love off the floor in five days in your friend's basement, it's his first recording project, and its profuction values range from non-existent to actually-recorded-through-a-tin-can, you're not supposed to be able to get a song on the CBC Radio 3 podcast--never mind have Grant Lawrence call you "a band that could easily be shortlisted for a future Polaris prize."
And you normally can't get an article about your obscure show in a newspaper by announcing your existence through a friendly e-mail a few days before press night.
But if some people are just born lucky, maybe this is what happends when four of those people join the same band.
The band is The Darcys, and they play Smijie's on Thursday. Guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist Kirby Best, the eldest member at the ripe-old age of 22, called the Journal from Halifax after sneaking out of his History of Jazz lecture at King's College at Dalhousie. All The Darcys--including drummer Wes Marskell, bassist Dave Hurlow and gutiarist Jason Couse--are Toronto Natives who met at King's.
The band formed during a bar's Halloween party in 2005, eventually taking their name from the character of Mr. Darcy when three-quarters of the band had Pride and Prejudice as an assigned reading.
"I guess they had heard from friends of mine or gotten a demo of my acoustic stuff, and asked whether I wanted to play in this band," Best said, then slurred an impression of their initial discussion "We're gonna be in a fucking rock band, and it's going to be fucking awesome!" And then you wake up and realize you have to go to rock band practice."
Best said that relative isolation of the Halifax music scene afforded The Darcys more opportunities for a band just starting out.
"The only bands that come through are ridiculously monstrous, like Guns N' Roses or the Stones, and then there's a real small, amazing, just-above-garage-band scene here ... People are playing to their friends and a few others, and it's slowly building ... If feels like you can just sort of rehearse a bit with our buddies and walk onto a bill here, whereas Toronto, there's a real separation between audience and the band."
Recording this May, The Darcys's seven-song EP You, Me and the Light documents a young band still searching for a distinct sound. The midtempo, loose jangle-turned-jam of "Just How the Century Ends" bears an uncanny resemblance to Broken Social Scene, while Best sings "You come in, mumbling the inevitable/The century ends drunk, fucked up and forgettable."
Bout You, Me and the Light peaks at the end with the catchy, alternately swinging and sublime "When Texas Was Enough" and the comfortable, alt-country waltz of "Leave Everything Motionless." Best's reedy voice is distinctive too, often pitched at a wail and constantly teetering on the edge of complete despair without falling over.
Best said The Darcys have "grown up a lot" since the recording and their sound has already changed.
"I think part of the process of learning to be a band is, you learn to be a band, you know? And you end up sounding kind of cliched at the beginning because that's all there is to do. [Now we have] a lot more people dropping out of not playing sections, trying to be a lot less heavy-handed with everyone playing at the same time---adding layers of subtlety to it, I guess? There's sort of a restrained excitement to the new stuff that I really love."
Though The Darcys have been successful on campus and played three respectably-attended shows in Toronto this summer, negotiating the transition to the larger Halifax and national music scene has been more difficult.
"We played a Valentin's Day show at the King's bar last year, and that was the first time that everything had really, really clicked. I just remember getting off stage and saying 'Did you see when everyone was dancing?' And we were just so excited that we'd sort of managed to turn a room into a drunken mass of sweaty people groping each other. I guess that was a pretty amazing experience...
"[Now] we feel sort of trapped in between that, where it's gotten big enough that we can draw 150 people to our shows even when it's just us playing, but ... we don't know how to move outside of those 150 people."
The band has emphasized developing their live show, and Best recalls being particularly inspired by Gord Downie's performance style. "He's just sort of that first guy I saw and said 'Wow, that man can captivate an arena full of people.'" Best said. "And that sort of weird line between, 'is this guy totally insane, or is he just so driven?' ...
"One of the things we talked about when we were just getting together is how we wanted to soundtrack some of those epic nights in university, where you get super drunk and punch out your roommate and make out with a bunch of people you're not supposed to. If any of that is carried through into our live show, then people will be lined up for miles, as far as I'm concerned."
Despite their good fortune so far, Best knows that the future--including their four-date Ontario tour--might not always be so kind.
"There's a picture in my head of us standing next to some highway in Ontarion, being like 'Holy Fuck, the car broke down, we are so stuck here, and it's so dark.'"
Hopefully, The Darcys don't run out of luck before they run out of gas. - The Queens Journal

"The Darcys Endless Water"

For a band that thrives the live environment – standing shoulder to shoulder beneath the bright lights as sweat runs down their foreheads, surrounded by the robust volume of pulsing speakers and pounding bass, interacting with and feeding off the crowd – translating the unique and organic into a single static volume can prove the penultimate challenge. The Darcys rise to the occasion by sinking down into the depths of their artistic wellspring. The result is the aptly titled and wholly enjoyable Endless Water.

The Darcys sophomore effort is not at all sophomoric, rather the disc is consistent, coherent and friendly.

Fluidity keeps the flow rocking gently on diverse tracks such as the chilled out though angst-ridden A Series Of Prayers (For Something To Happen) with its quiet desperation and enduring hope and the equally down-tempo Untitled (Bedroom Beats) through to the more motivated make-you-move spirit of New Jr. and the title track’s irresistible harmonies.

Where Are Your Daughters?/No More Love Songs is a great example of the bands journey from one solitude to another, beginning softly even as it kindly revs up to its dizzying and powerful climax.

Change through continuity is a good sign for The Darcys foursome and great leap forward from their less holistic though also successful You, Me and the Light EP.

The zeitgeist of Endless Water is irresistible, meeting the mark of early 2000s indie-rock while finding fresh musical territory amidst a genre that has been mined to near derivative mediocrity.

Opening numbers prove the best examples of this careful balancing act above hostile waters. Strange Fits employs the near-clichéd indie-clap reviving its power to excite the primal within, while I’ve Been Sleeping and We Twin make use of that certain je ne sais quoi indie rhythm and yet maintain excitement and originality.

The indie-rock onslaught of the last few years has become a little daunting, but rather than playing into the passé The Darcys prove why the sound is so irresistible in the first place.

Endless Water is as much a lyrical gem as it is a musical treat. I’m not about to try and middle the delicate poetry that accompanies each score (unfortunately a liberetto wasn’t included along with the release, perhaps a deliberate mistake) but trust me, the band unleashes an ever present communication of feelings – pain, regret, joy and longing – that make The Darcys songs that much more appealing, humble and real.

Sendoff These Ones Were Our Reveries demonstrates all that needs to be said about quality as far as the sensitive philosophy of Endless Water is concerned. And certifiable hit Ultra brings more of the same, a treatise on events past and actions taken and untaken. The pairing of sweet-soul with terse verse makes Endless Water the kind of full album that’s satisfying from start to finish. Recorded during the summer of 2007 at the rational though surely quixotic and undeniably unique Waterloo Regional Children’s Museum that includes exhibits such as the Shadow Play wall, Metamorph satellite, Living Wall and of course a 125 gallon fish tank, The Darcys benefit from the playful environment without distilling their serious sound.

A good thing too as this factor and likely many others, for example the bands talent and ingenuity, keep their one-off document as fresh as their captivating live presentation. Through absent may be the lights, speakers and dancing crowd, The Darcys are able to recreate and encapsulate the nervous energy of four guys sharing their collective self-expression.

Endless Water is a triumph: conforming to while pushing the limits of a genre, taking the listener on a musical pathway replete with multifaceted moments up and down and meaningful lyrics that convey pathos and depth. Most of all, the Darcys keep things fresh with an alive signature worth praising. - The Xaverian


Endless Water (LP - 2007)
Singles - I Am A Ship, We Twin Bruises
You, Me and the Light (EP - 2006)
Single - Woah!


Feeling a bit camera shy


Currently at a loss for words...