The O'Darling
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The O'Darling

Band Pop Folk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Oh Those Darlings"

Published December 10th, 2009 @


We first stumbled upon the Toronto seven-piece band The O’Darling when they opened for Hey Ocean! back in November. We chatted outside for a bit and then they handed us their album. Now, we get a ton of albums sent to us daily and, unfortunately, this one was added to that pile. I say unfortunately because for the past four days this album has been on constant rotation in the office.

This is the second album by the Toronto group which is actually impressive considering they only formed in 2008. Their first album, or EP rather, was titled A Nice EP and was given some great feedback on the blogosphere. With the recent release of their self-titled album, The O’Darling have stepped up their game and given us a record that is part jazz, part pop and 100% enjoyable. The album opens with “Venture Song” a tune with a rather long instrumental intro accented by the glockenspiel (apparently it’s hip now!) and sung by Jennah Barry. Her voice is what caught my attention at first as it is well beyond her years because it reminded me of songstresses from the forties and fifties but with a modern twist; completely soothing to the ear. The album then dips into “La Prairie” which holds the same slow, steady tempo as the previous song however is sung completely in French. The switch-up in language may be due to the fact that half the band are francophones or it could be an homage to our bilingual country; either way THIS Anglophone thoroughly enjoyed it.

Another added treat was the addition of a plethora of unusual instruments. They have the glockenspiel, the banjo, the omnichord and the flugelhorn. Although we hadn’t heard of the last two, whatever noise they made worked as was heard on “City Part 1′′. Another interesting feature of this band is that they have three, yes THREE lead vocalists who are all female. This may be a bit off putting for a listener since it can create a sense of inconsistency, however the band have done a great job of somehow finding three ladies who each sound similar and yet maintain their individuality creating a sound and experience that is consistent. If this is any indication of what their live show is like, we are in for a treat.
Overall a fabulous first record for a band that is still young and emerging on the scene. If you like jazz or pop music, then you will love The
O’Darling; a hybrid of the two that is simply “darling”! - I heart the music

"The discs you should have heard, but didn't"

Featured in The Globe and Mail on p.1 of The Arts Section Dec 28 2009

The O'Darling, by The O'Darling (independent; some tracks streaming at

This pocket pop orchestra's first album is a mixture of winsome thrift-shop ballads, sly cabaret numbers and tunes innocent enough to play on a solo xylophone. Great stuff from a relatively new Toronto band. R.E.-G. - Robert Everett-Green (The Globe and Mail)

"'The O'Darling' album Review"


Originally hailing from pretty much every corner of this expansive country, six-piece band The O'Darling have come together and settled in Toronto as they stand poised to release their self-titled debut full length album.

I have to be candid and say that my reaction to the band's 2008 EP A Nice EP was lukewarm. It pleases me to be able to offer no such reservations on the new album. From front to back this is a record that will win over listener's hearts with its charm.

The songs on the album tend to have a more twee quality to them. "Venture Song", "City Part 1", and the French sung "Prairie" are cute without getting iritating, a difficult balance.

The music is subtle, almost minimalist. Guitar, upright bass, and percussion (including some fantastic found sounds) are used with a deft light touch. They create a delicate atmosphere in which the beautiful vocal harmonies of Jennah Barry, Ida Maidstone, and Chantel Emond can germinate.

An array of additional instruments give the songs a vibrant texture. Accordion, flugelhorn, and trumpet dip in and out of the songs at just the right moments...and if you like glockenspiel, this is the record for you.

For melodic yet ornate indie pop, there have been few albums better than this new one from Toronto's own The O'Darling.

Best tracks: "Embroideries", "Good Day" - T.O. Snob's Music

"What Darlings, The O'Darling..."


It was a busy Sunday evening in Vancouver.

Matt Epp was performing again...this time at the Railway Club and he was just as great as the night before. I had to miss
Ann Vriend to jump over to the Media Club for show #2...

By the time I got there I had missed Benny Schütze, Said The Whale, Aidan Knight and only caught the last song by Hey Ocean!... From what I hear it was a free-for-all of Vancouver's indie music scene. Dan Mangan was in the crowd and got called on stage, performed two songs and then it was on to the main act...
The O'Darling.

They are a pretty amazing band...apparently originally from Victoria, but based in Toronto now. They had the entire crowd on their feet, many of them dancing. Aidan joined them on stage for a few songs too. (He will be performing at Dan's CD Release show on Friday.) By the end of the evening most everyone's facebook and twitter statuses changed to praise for the band and the evening. - North by East West

"The O’Darling – S/T Album Review"


The O’Darling, a band out of Toronto are an impressive group with 3 different female vocalists and
impressed me with their A Nice EP which was released last year and had reviewed recently.
The six piece made a mix of folk, orchestra, jazz and pop to make an extremely entertaining EP and they
continue it on their self-titled release. The fact that they have Jennah Barry, Ida Maidstone and Chantel
Emond sharing lead vocals between tracks is a luxury many bands don’t have. The only comparison I could
think of is Faunts of Edmonton but alas the musical style is different.
The style of The O’Darling recent release is more of a softer, jazzy and ultimately slower pace. It doesn’t
matter what direction The O’Darling takes as you kind of feel like they’ll end up making something very
good. It does step a little outside of what I typically like but that hardly makes a difference. They do show
off a more poppier side for the track Embroideries so in a sense this songs feel a little out of place though I
hardly mind.

Each track has it’s own subtleties behind the amazing vocals. I don’t think it’s as good as a Nice EP (the EP
is basically an amazing album) but that’s partly a product of sticking to a certain style which I can’t blame
them for. If nothing else the album proves that yes the band is very talented and yes we all should want
more from them. As for their popularity level, I have no idea but they SHOULD be more popular. They’re a
band that I’m proud to say is from Toronto/Canada.
Some of my favourite tracks are Prairie which is sung in French, Venture song – the lead track and City Part
1 which features some backup male vocals toward the end. The band seems to put a nice touch on
everything with subtlety and while they may not win you over right away, they definitely will given time.
Rating: 4.25 out of 5
The O’Darling isn’t that type of band that I have to say O WOW LOOK AT THIS BAND. I will say they
do come close and if anything The O’Darling is a talented band that makes nice, solid music. I’m sure as
hell happy with that. Now someone go and sign this band already.

"The O'Darling"


Label: Self-released
Release date: 17/07/09 (Tentative)

Brace yourselves ambient folk pop fans! One of Canada's finest new outfits are about to release their fresh debut album unto the world. We recently covered the O'Darling in a Radar feature, as they grabbed our attention with their charming and heart warming arrangements, showing their great talents on A Nice EP. This new album of theirs is a continuation of those endearing abilities that they first displayed. It carries a theme of escape and progressing to secluded, and naturally beautiful destinations, away from the bitter hostility and fear mongering that mainstream societies force on us.

The opening track, 'Venture Song', has the pace of a train, provoking those feelings of leaving a city and seeing fields, and trees creep up on the horizon, which signifies where the album is heading, as well as summarising what you will be in for if you keep listening. Again, the track, 'Altostratus', the pace of which throughout drops and picks up in the chorus with the simple lyrics, "Run through the woods with the animals", appeals to the desire to fantasize and disassociate oneself with a normal life.

More than anything it's the constant tranquility possessed by the album that makes it a beautiful listen. It's brought about by the gentle brass, piano, soaring extraordinary voices and connotation sound effects such as the flickering and reeling of what sounds like an old slide projector in 'City Part 1'. The O'Darling inspire dreams of natural imagery, and listening to their first album is an experience that strips away the elements of a pressurising, cynical modern world.

Rating: 8/10 - The 405

"The O'Darling Signs with Sitka"

January 10th, 2010

A sound and a look that go hand in hand. Sitka Surfboards and Apparel are pleased to announce the addition of The O'darling to their team of sponsored artists. One of Canada's most promising artists, The O'darling is now part of a team which includes Hey Ocean, Jon and Roy and Current Swell. “We're very pleased to welcome such a talented group of individuals to our roster”, says Mel Greene, Director of Communications. “Sitka doesn't just sponsor artists and athletes, we sponsor people, and the O'darling represent the laid-back, friendly and fun attitude that we gravitate towards.”
The name Sitka derives from the mighty Sitka Spruce, a tree naturally drawn to the rugged shorelines of Western Canada; the company Sitka grew from the same endeavor. Since its establishment in 2002, Sitka has been hailed as one of the West Coast's leading brands. The company has been a fervent supporter of new and emerging artists. Sponsoring local bands, putting on shows and spreading the word, Sitka has never been too far from any great musical event on the coast.
The O'darling will be working closely with Sitka over the summer during the west coast stretch of their north american tour. Keep checking and for more details.

Sitka Surfboards and Apparel
Office - (250) 385-7873

The O'darling - The O'darling @ Sitka Surfboards and Apparel

"The O'Darlings strive to grab listeners' attention"

Last Updated: 28th July 2009, 8:45pm


The band The O’Darling is more interested in making music interesting than it is in making money. It’s not because they’re loaded or have a sugar daddy, and it’s not like these 20-somethings don’t understand the basic laws of capitalism.
It’s just that for this musical six pack, it’s more important their new album, The O’Darling, be heard by as many ears as possible.
And to do that, they had to take drastic action.
So, instead of marketing on iTunes, through a website or on Top-40 radio, they’re letting fans listen to their debut disc free on their myspace website.
“It’s hard to care about record sales when you just want people to hear your music,” explains one of the band’s singers, Jennah Barry.
“The whole music business has changed from something you bought because you wanted it, to something you loaded onto your iPod to hear in the background. New music today is like filler for your brain. We aren’t that.”
Named after the song Oh My Darling, Clementine, the band is a return to the romantic folk fantasies when Joni Mitchell, Nico or Kate Bush spun musical fairytales with other worldly classically inspired instrumentation.
“We’re obsessive about being in this band because we’re hooked on our music,” says Maidstone. “There’s intense personal chemistry in The O’Darling because we studied jazz and have to rely on each other to improvise.
“So we’re tighter than most bands. You could call it a six-way relationship.”
It all began when Humber College jazz students Barry, Ida Maidstone, Chantel Emond, Olivier Clements, David Barry and Colin Nealis began jamming together and found the chemistry to become a band. Before long, they were touring the country.
With momentum going their way, they’re not going to let major shifts in the way people consume music stand in their way. “The whole music business has changed from something you would buy and collect to something you might hear a couple of times. It’s gotten so bad that people can’t focus on a whole album any more. “Ultimately, the challenge for us is to make music for people who have a short attention span. We’re going to make music that’s so bloody interesting people will listen to it the way they did in the 1970s.”

Where: Black Sheep Inn, Wakefield
When: Thursday, 8:30 p.m., $7 - The Ottawa Sun

"Canadian Music Week: Maddy’s Picks"


March 8th, 2010

I always look forward to Canadian Music Week! It’s like all the awesome bands in Canada come together to make it uber convenient for you to check them out. There are always some big names (this year it’s Ke$ha, Alicia Keys, Robin Thicke etc.) but the majority of the bands are lesser known. It can be a little overwhelming trying to choose which shows are worthwhile, so here are my picks for bands not to be missed. As you can probably tell, I like dancey bands!

The O’Darling

From: Toronto, ON Sounds like: Kate Bush meets Feist

Why you need to see them: They make you feel like you’re in some alternate universe in which ambient mid-tempo pop was played in 1920’s Parisian bars

Fun fact: The band comes from all across Canada - the members met at jazz school Tester song: “Embroideries”
Myspace: Wednesday March 10th 1am @ The Central, 603 Markham st. 19+ All wristbands accepted -

"CMW Preview: The O'Darling"

Originally Published Feb. 19th, 2010 (


CMW Preview: The O'Darling

Having members who grew up pretty much from coast-to-coast in Canada, Toronto-based The O'Darling have trace their roots back to countless musical traditions.
Check out the stunning "Embroideries" from their self-titled full length album which made our year-end Best Canadian Albums of 2009 list.

I had a chance to ask the band a few questions in preparation for their CMW show. Here's the call and response:

T.O. Snob: First off, thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us. You’re playing Central in Toronto on March 10th as part of Canadian Music Week. For people who aren’t familiar with The O’Darling, how would you describe your sound?

the o'd: Lately we’ve been describing ourselves as an orchestral alt-pop collective. Everybody in the band comes from a pretty wide range of different musical backgrounds and I think our sound comes from this big melting pot of influences (everything from indie rock, jazz, classical, folk…).

T.O. Snob: What inspires an O’Darling song?

the o'd: Life, parties, friends, pho and sushi.

T.O. Snob: You have band members who are originally from pretty much every corner of Canada. How has regional diversity helped the band create it’s sound?

the o'd: I think it’s less about regional diversity and more about the people we’ve met and played with. We love jamming with people and it undoubtedly helps us develop our sound. Having an ‘in’ into many of Canada’s musical scene has let us play with musicians we’d otherwise never get to hangout with. Whether it’s jamming with Victoria’s Aidan Knight, partying with Hey Ocean in Vancouver, brunching with Night of Kites in Montréal, or just having a beer in South Shore Nova Scotia with some friends, it all plays a part in opening our minds/ears to new music.

T.O. Snob: What does a festival like CMW mean to up-and-coming bands? What do you hope to get out of the experience?

the o'd: Festivals like CMW and NXNE play a crucial role with new bands because they bring hundreds industry representatives and other bands together in one city. This let’s us met and talk to people we’d otherwise never get a chance to see in person. We’re really hoping that we’re going to be able to make some cool connections and open up a few new doors.

T.O. Snob: Are there any band’s you’re looking forward to seeing during the festival?

the o'd: Aidan Knight’s going to make an appearance. We love bands like Plants and Animals, The Acorn, RJD2 and hopefully we’ll be able to see some/all of their performances.

T.O. Snob: If someone were to look at your CD collection (or iPod playlist) what would they find that would surprise them?

the o'd: The Roots, J Dilla, Peaches, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson & Carlos Nino Orchestra.

T.O. Snob: Thanks again for taking the time to speak with us.

the o'd: Our pleasure. Thank you for the interview!

CMW performance
Date: Mar 10th
Time: 1:00am
Venue: Central - T.O. Snob's Music


A Nice EP (2008)
The O'Darling (2009)



The o’darling, a seven-piece orchestral collective, is defining a new Canadian sound and quickly becoming one of the country’s most promising bands. Exceptional musicianship, thoughtful song-writing, achingly beautiful vocals and sophisticated harmonies make the o'darling nothing short of celestial. From coast to coast; Jennah Barry, Ida Maidstone, Chantel Emond, Olivier Cléments, David Barry, Galen Pelley and Colin Nealis met in Toronto in 2008. Their contrasting personalities and diverse musical sensitivities have shaped their unique sound evolving from an acoustic fairytale to indie alt-pop.

Since their first performance there was an overwhelming response from Toronto’s indie scene. They were prompted to release their debut recording, A Nice EP and fans, critics, and music bloggers alike named the group as something to look out for. Their eagerly anticipated full-length album, the o’darling, was released in the summer of 2009. This stunning collection of songs launched the Blue Skies Festival where they performed for more than two thousand people and sold every CD they had on hand. Their performances at The Black Sheep Inn, The Rivoli, El Mocambo, The Media Club (Vancouver), Green Room (Montréal), and The Cultch have left audiences in awe. The O’darling have collaborated and shared the stage with artists such as Maurice, Hey Ocean, Dan Mangan, Mark Berube, Aidan Knight, Miss Emily Brown and Said the Whale. Their most recent collaborations have led to a successful fall tour with Miss Emily Brown and the release of Versicolour by Aidan Knight. They continue to gain recognition, earning spots at Canadian Music Week and the Vancouver Island MusicFest in 2010. Globe and Mail has chosen the o’darling as one of ten unclaimed treasures of 2009.

With air time on CBC Radio, two successful Canadian tours and loads of fans from coast to coast, the o’darling is most certainly on the rise and is undoubtedly becoming a compelling collective in the future of Canadian music.