the Darling DeMaes

the Darling DeMaes

BandRockAcoustic

"As likely to make you get up and dance as they are to inspire a pensive pose... complete with textured guitars, propulsive rhythms, fluttering harmonies and subtly soaring melodies." ~ T'cha Dunlevy, MONTREAL GAZETTE

Biography

"Singer Erik Virtanen's balance of bleeding heart and backhanded humour, twin fixations on love and death and faint retro rock n roll echo make him a contender for the next big new Morrissey." ~ Lorraine Carpenter, MONTREAL MIRROR

"Montreal’s The Darling DeMaes are one of Canada’s best kept secrets; somehow equally playful and sinister, the band grabs your attention and never lets go. (..) The Darling DeMaes are talented and unique enough to take over the Canadian indie scene. This record is a must have."
~ Ben Acker, HEROHILL (Halifax)

"A User's Guide to Raising the Dead (Songs of Spring)" is the first full-length album from Montreal's The Darling DeMaes (pronounced de-mays, named after the tragic porn actress), and the first true introduction to the quintet's darkly tales sung sweet.

With "A User's Guide", the demaes finally bring their captivating, spirited live performance to record, complete with alluring male-female-male harmonies, melodic guitar arrangements, roaming bass, and textured rhythms in intricately arranged songs that schizophrenically jump from section to section with an ease that somehow makes sense. A complex simplicity permeates the demaes' music. Subtly shifting time signatures, surprising song-structures, and unexpected chord choices are piloted by songwriter Erik Virtanen's unique-and-sometimes-odd-but-always-honest storytelling
that seamlessly blends joyful love, joyful hate, humour, regret, and utter horror.

In April 2008, after releasing an acoustic demo-turned-Winter Keep Us Warm EP amidst the chaos of Montreal's overflowing underground, F.A.C.T.O.R (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Recordings) selected The Darling DeMaes as a recipient of their Juried Independent Sound Recording loan. Suddenly, the band was in talks with the city's top studios and producers and, in June 2008, the demaes headed to Mountain City studio to record with Joseph Donovan (The Dears, Sam Roberts). Later that summer, they took to Toronto to finish the album with "mastering guru" Noah Mintz (Feist, Broken Social Scene).

The recording session had each band member staking claim as a multiinstrumentalist: vocalist, Tasha, on vibes, piano, and a little glockenspiel; Buz on guitars, vocals, melodica, and mandolin; Erik on rhythms guitars and finding new instrumental ways to use his voice; drummer, Sami, on vocals, bells, blocks, and ...(*sigh) cowbell; and bassist, Alec, taking up harmonica. The band also invited unique guest performances from actress Christine Ghawi (actually acting out a scene in studio), folk-singer James Finnerty, jazz-singer Emma Frank, and spoken-word performer Song Min Young.

In their debut LP, The Darling DeMaes produce 12 refreshingly eclectic and melodic pop noir tunes that play on the inspirations and talents of five passionate music-lovers humbly trying to journey a little outside the box while never leaving the listener behind.

Lyrics

A Couple Of Schizophrenics

Written By: Erik Virtanen

I’m not like that any other day,
Might have done some things that wasn’t me.
Now we’re high in the afterglow
Of suicidal, selfish jokes.

‘Cause you
Got a way to take that all away,
Got a smile that cracks this filthy mirror – believe it,

The road is red.

But thoughts will seep through a careful brain,
Sleeping pills and open veins.
Tie a weight around your leg,
Let it sink as we slip away.

You got a way to take that all away,
Got a smile that cracks this broken mirror – believe it,

The road is red.

We waited ‘til the lights went down,
The dirty floors, the padded walls,
You coughed a key out of your throat,
Creaking bars… We floated down
Through ghostly halls,
The wailing and moans of the psychos in the other wards were dying,
Just you and I,
We took off our straightjackets,
Put on normal clothes and walk out.

I’m not like that any other day,
Might have done some things wasn’t me.

I think time can make this right,
Sewing kits and rusty knives.

The road is red

Young Mothers

Written By: Erik Virtanen

I wanna live like a teenage mom,
I wanna live like a teenage mother,
I wanna celebrate life despite what’s right,
I wanna live like a teenage mom.
We gotta dance like we can’t even stop
We gotta dance like we can’t even stop
I wanna close my eyes and grab your arms
And wrap them ‘round my waist and hit the floor.

Overflowing with milk and love and life
Overflowing with hands and ears and eyes.

A little worried, it’s okay
A little worried, it’s okay
You & me, you & me, you & me, Oh, you & me.
A little flawed, it’s okay
A little flawed, it’s okay
You & me, we’re the same,
A little scared, a bit ashamed.

The competition’s not our fault,
It was there before we were born,
This hatred’s not our fault,
It was there before we were born,
The lines are not our fault,
They were drawn before we were born,
The tracks are not our fault,
They were laid before we were born.

I wanna live like a teenage mom,
I wanna live like a teenage mother,
I wanna celebrate life despite what’s right,
I wanna live like a teenage mom.

She Took Off Her Glasses

Written By: Erik Virtanen

The beaten track is the easiest path,
A girl with a fragile heart will
Love you back.

Dye fabric in blood,
Patch Asian cloth
On the valves and the veins,
‘Til it all looks the same,
‘Til it’s sorta the –

The start of an Eastern goodbye,
I’ll meet you in Seoul,
Then come to the shore,
For a meal . . .

Whispers of white and red in a word,
She lowers her head,
We’re leaving again,
But the last time will be the worst.

Hope lights up sad eyes,
A tentative smile, she gives it to you,
Young professional hands
Discovering old joy with somebody new,
I caught myself repeating things
I said to the girl before,
To the girl before you,
We’re two lonely scavengers trying
To use fragments of what is left,
Got to build something new.

The beaten track is the easiest path,
A girl with a fragile heart will
Love you back.

With A Magnifying Glass

Written By: Erik Virtanen

You wiped a patch of snow off the ice-lake,
The April sun somehow let it frost.
Your sisters were dancing in the orchard,
You called them over to see what you had found…

A man in the ice,
He left it all behind,
To find a better life,
Frozen in the ice,
Frozen in the ice,
He left it all behind,
To find a better life.

To find a better life.

With a magnifying glass,
You used the rays of sun,
To melt away the past,
With a magnifying glass.

His blood was coming free,
His eyes began to see,
His throat slowly thawed,
And his lungs began to breath.

You pulled him to the side,
His pale face surprised,
Remembering the sky
For the first time.

Stomach Ghost

Written By: Erik Virtanen

Willing young man, curious girl,
We fell into this world.
Stole from a tree, found out the truth,
We had to build a room,
Walls around me and you.

But things weren’t as good, reason to fight,
We were running out of time,
Watching the years go by.
A murder took place, a child disposed,
This was the life we chose,
But, darling, we came so close.

You my love
You my love
Watching us grow,
Planting a seed,
Spirits loving free.

Falling down,
We’re falling down,
Learning to die,
Learning to feel,
Love grows in disease.

The waters were rough, cut down to two,
Some time for me and you
To talk about things to do.
More people came, a tower went high,
The start of wandering eyes,
Under the changing skies.

Silently,
Is it all to nothing?

You my love
You my love
Watching us grow,
Planting a seed,
Spirits loving free.

A Day In Her Life

Written By: Erik Virtanen

I saw a show at four o’clock, maybe five,
It showed this picture of a young girl who died.
She lay face down, A man drove a nail through her head,
And as she died Her body shook, and they had sex.
The cop who found her
Was a strong man, tired from years,
He looked away from me and Broke down in tears.

Let’s all join hands and kill the ones Who make this an evil place.

The Ghost on Gwangali Beach

Written By: Erik Virtanen

Your ghost is still here,
Your spirit still haunts me,
Appearing in eyes
Of people around me.

Two years away,
Follows behind me,
Watches me laugh,
Sadly and silent.

You opened the gate,
I followed through,
Cross-graves at night
Waiting for you.

Only you.

A Thief in the night,
Ghost from the past,
A suicide gone horribly wrong
And now look at what’s left:

Skyless,
Closed-off,
Waters run dry,
The change ain’t true.

When I hold her in my arms,
I want you.

Only you.

Drugs Are Toxic (Winter Sky)

Written By: Erik Virtanen

The same old sun
Wears you down,
Lights up a darkness
You can’t overcome,
Shows the world,
This broken place,
The guiltless in pain,
The grinding of teeth.

But oh,
The Night’s coming.
Yeah,
The Night comes.

I held your arm,
You held my arm too
And in the sunset
We found something new,
Mixed our blood
With a music that drowns the Night
In glowing white minds
Behind black curtains.

The Night
Sleeps inside
inside
inside
inside

Ticking Clock

Written By: Erik Virtanen

Stumblin’ Jack said,
“What’s the point of being dead?”
He’d rather be black-ash
Then dust instead,
Forget to breath,
You know what I mean?
When you’re finally alive,
you don’t even feel it.

You were here, you were here,
A little while, a little while,
And that inside Light
Covered all the Night,
And fireflies burned holes in my eyes.

The Gift is like a ghost,
The fireplace is full,
Within your skin is cooling scars and smoke,
It’s hard to know what’s real,
It’s hard to know what’s real,
‘Cause a little time will change your mind.

Won’t you wait,
Won’t you wait,
Won’t you wait
A while?

AREN’T YOU SCARED?
That it’s gonna stop…

I used to be in love,
I swear I was in love,
But now you just can’t be sure,
I think I’ve seen enough,
I might’ve seen too much,
It attacks your eyes and ears and heart
And it overflows

But never fills your soul.

Girl Soldiers

Written By: Erik Virtanen

Oh, these desert stars at night,
Lost in a cloud of flashing light,
Oh, this terror in my bones,
A heavy chest and thoughts of home.

The First Twins
And clubs and movie stars,
One Twin on her knees
And she’s going far.

I’m feeling a little stressed, dad
These blisters on my hands, dad,
All the faces that I love,
Outta sight, growing old.

The First Twins
And clubs and movie stars,
One Twin on her knees
And she’s going far.

Why not go when there’s nothing to lose?
Send the girls out,
It’s their right to choose,
Nobody sees what nobody knows,
Your baby’s dying while his darling blows.

There’s a gun in her hand,
There’s a gun in her hand,
There’s a gun in her mouth,
There’s a gun in her hand.

Discography

"A User's Guide to Raising the Dead (Songs of Spring)" (LP, 2008)
recorded and mixed by Joseph Donovan & Adrian Popovich
produced by Erik Virtanen
mastered by Noah Mintz

"Winter Keep Us Warm" (Acoustic EP, 2007)
produced and mixed by Mark Andrew Lawson

regular airplay on CBC Radio 1 & 3, top 30 on university charts, streaming through those infinite indie sites and podcasts.

Set List

- with a magnifying glass
- stomach ghost
- young mothers
- into the night pt1 & 2
- she took off her glasses
- in love with patty duke
- a day in her life
- girl soldiers
- winter in montreal
- drug are toxic (winter sky)
- ticking clock
- the ghost on gwangali beach