Wendy Darling
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Wendy Darling

Band Alternative Folk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Band's Fans Include A Number of Boys Who Won't Grow Up"

"Not being an expert on "Peter Pan", I can't say for sure how many band names have been inspired by this beloved children's tale. But even including San Diego's Wendy Darling, I can probably count them on one hand and still have enough spare fingers to do my popular "air-piano" routine. Being even less conversant with Chinese websites, its still difficult not to smile at the following English translation: "Four independent from the United States folk rock group, mainly lighthearted style, lead singer Cori Rush sweet voice yet some Qiaopi, album cover has a retro feel!"

The 1964 photo on the cover of Wendy Darling's debut album, "Half-Told Bedtime Stories," indeed has a retro feel. And the band's music contains elements of folk and rock, along with country, blues, pop and electronica (but not "crunk" as its Myspace page amusingly claims).

Rush commands attention without mangling her lyrics or engaging in empty vocal acrobatics. She is candid about her influences, which include Jenny Lewis and Ani DiFranco. I also hear hints of Martha Wainwright, Bjork, Feist and Annie Clark in Rush's phrasing.
But she is savvy enough to use her influences as reference points, not destinations, and the 10 songs on "Half-Told Bedtime Stories" grow more fetching with each new airing. Likewise, while there is an undeniable charm to Wendy Darling's music, the "broken soul" Rush sings about in "Sick Endgame" hardly qualifies as "lighthearted." Neither do the moody textures on "Better than Penelope" and the accordion-drenched "Anon," a gem of interlocking vocal parts that at times suggest a pomp-free edition of the English prog-rock band Yes in its heyday.

Alternatively forceful and restrained, bassist Jon Freeman and drummer Hector Verdugo - both of whom double on several other instruments - always play tastefully in service of the song at hand. Equally impressive is multi-instrumentalist Nate Heller, a skilled engineer and producer who has also overseen recordings for San Diego's Brave Monster and Tijuana'a Los Kung Fu Monkeys (which Verdugo drums in).
The big question, at least for this listener, is whether Wendy Darling can achieve on stage the subtle touches that make "Half-Told Bedtime Stories" so enjoyable. The band's Tuesday night CD release gig at the Casbah should tell the story. - San Diego Union Tribune

"Girls On Top"

This story’s been told before, but it’s one worth telling again and again until shit starts to change: The global music industry is dominated by men. San Diego music isn’t immune; in fact, the city seems especially female-free when it comes to the local indie-rock and DJ scene (giving props where they’re due: We’re aware of and appreciate your existence, Grand Ole Party, Wild Weekend, Calico Horse, Kill Me Tomorrow, DJ Claire and the rest of the local mould-breaking, female-inclusive bands and DJs we can’t fit inside this parenthetical).

Tons of social theories attempting to explain the phenomenon have been conjured up—women are too busy getting married and/or having babies; there’s a shortage of female rock ’n’ roller role models; more men than women are into listening to and learning about music. But, as a single woman sans kids who loves music and owns a guitar but has yet to progress past learning how to tune it, I know firsthand how simple and guilt-inducing the solution is: Lots more ladies just need to pick up those dusty guitars (or keyboards or drum sticks) and start playing.

Frontwoman Cori Rush got into music-making early on in high school but lost her way when she hit college and got married. Once the 26-year-old settled into her work and married life, though, she realized things weren’t quite right.

“I missed music, and I really wanted to get back into it,” Rush said.

Her next step was craigslist, where she found Nate Heller, a guitarist, backup vocalist and music producer.
“We met and immediately vibed together, or whatever,” Rush explained. “And since then, we’ve been through a couple of drummers, a couple of bass players and now we have our core members and we’re happy.”

So after about two years together, the band—called Wendy Darling after the Peter Pan protagonist who went where not many other girls have gone—is finally getting local radio play, packing the Beauty Bar and other venues for live shows. On Tuesday, Aug. 19, at The Casbah, they’ll celebrating the release of their first full-length album, Half-Told Bedtime Stories, before they head off on a West Coast tour.

Wendy Darling’s music is all about Rush’s strong vocals, and it flip-flops back and forth between poppy indie rock and indie folk, depending on whether Heller’s got a banjo or guitar in hand. The sound is low-key, catchy and pretty, reminiscent of Rilo Kiley minus all the intricate guitar playing and music layering.

And if you doubt Rush’s control over the boys in the band, listen to the lyrics she’s penned and skim through the band’s MySpace page (www.myspace.com/wendydarlingrock), where you’ll find pictures of the guys wearing dresses.
If that ain’t female influence, we don’t know what is. - San Diego CityBeat

"CD Review"

Once upon a time I got lost, when I woke, there was Wendy. Since then, everything has been as it should. At times reminiscent of the beautifully angular Rocking Horse Winner, or the soul encompassing vocals of Vedera, the comparisons to great bands from past and present could go on but to put it simply Wendy Darling has bright lights in their future.. If you want well thought out songs that won’t bore the heavens out of you and opens a new chapter of greatness then sit back on a Sabbath day and listen gently to Wendy Darling. - Indie Rock Review

"Monolith Coverage: Interview with Wendy Darling"

Perhaps if you had to pick the Darlings of Saturday's Monolith Festival at Red Rocks Amphitheater it would appropriately be the California based quartet of Wendy Darling. The whimsical and playful intonations of their music are reflected back in the personalities of the band themselves. As they wandered around the festival and media area they quickly made fans and friends with just about everyone they met. And this pure approach to life and music has thrusted them forward in the Indie Rock Folk scene in the last year.

Lead vocalist Cori Rush and Nate Heller on guitar and vocals connected on Craigslist and instantly fused a musical chemistry that created the full sound of Wendy Darling. Shortly after Nate and Cori started writing together they added Jon Freeman on base and Hector Verdugo on drums and back up vocals to complete the rich sound of Wendy Darling. All four bandmates grew up with a love for music and immersion in the study of it as well. Nate even admits to me that he attended Rock and Roll Band Camp growing up. That experience pays off for them though since Nate is also the one who records and produces all their music.

2008 was a break out year for this fun loving group with the release of their first album Half-Told Bedtime Stories. Nate said that as a band they try to take familiar sounds and mix up the instrumentation to create something unconventional saying, "I like to be unconventional". When asked how this break through year changed the dynamic from within Cori said, "We're together all the time now, like a family. We have our moments but they don't last long before we all bring it back in and hug it out. Nate's the one that's really good about that." And you can definitely see the bond they share is much like a family dynamic as they continue to smile and shoot knowing glances at each other throughout the interview, even dishing a few inside stories of guilty pleasures on the road. Cori coyly grins as she admits to her candy addiction saying "The big old fashioned cinnamon gummy bears are what I'm really into right now." And for guitarist Jon Freeman its as simple as chips and sleep while touring.

After a year long road trip in support of Half-Told Bedtime Stories Wendy Darling has been back in the studio writing and applying the things they've learned while traveling. Nate said the writing of this new album has been characterized by newer more electronic sounds telling me that a lot of their current songs have edged on a mellower more laid back vibe and this time around they are writing upbeat and dancey songs to bring up the energy in their live performances.

Wherever the trail may lead this unique combination of talented and sincere musicians I can promise you that quality music with a personal touch of the whimsical will follow. - Denver Examiner

"Between Love and Like: Rothbury Festival"

Wendy Darling: Led by singer Cori Rush, San Diego's Wendy Darling play sun-baked indie country like nobody's business. Rush, whose a little bit June Carter, a little Natalie Merchant, and a lot of attitude, sounds just as capable over lazy guitar arrangements and plucky country tunes. Endearing to say the least. - Dave Tafoya

"Sneak Peak: Wendy Darling"

One of the best things about having a diverse and urbane campus is the music that makes its way to our Aztec Center Patio. Locals, hip-hop, rock, reggae and more make musical debuts on our very own soil for students and faculty to enjoy, usually midday to relieve those in between lectures. Next Wednesday, Sept. 2, bay area indie-rock group Wendy Darling will be at The Patio for a noon performance as a fall semester treat.

Although currently based in San Francisco, the San Diego native group will be playing an evening performance at Ruby Room the same night along with Audible Mainframe, Ana Sia and Alfred Howard and Eric Canzona of The Heavy Guilt. It’s a farewell party for independent San Diego promoter Joel York, who is to blame for the success of local phenoms Dirty Sweet and Get Back Loretta.

Trust me, frontwoman Cori Rush’s vocals will make you forget all about your chaotic new schedule and sprouting relationship with the library. Grab some lunch, bring your friends and enjoy Wendy Darling!

For more information on Wendy Darling’s upcoming shows, check out www.myspace.com/wendydarlingrock. - The Daily Aztec (SDSU)

"Monolith Festival Preview"

Wendy Darling

San Francisco's Wendy Darling is also getting ready for Monolith. The alt-pop band's slated for a Saturday afternoon slot at Red Rocks and a Friday show at the Lazy Dog in Boulder.

Wendy Darling's definitely a Monolith buzz band. That's because Cori Rush's exquisite vocals and the band's unusual instrumentation have really defined this indie act. This band uses everything from guitar to glockenspiel to crank out its tunes.

"Everyone in the band comes from really different backgrounds and we're into a wide variety of music," Rush said. "We're an indie rock band, but we have a lot of folk and electronic influences. The electronic really comes through in our newer music."

Wendy Darling is also a very savvy band. The group booked several other Colorado dates around its Red Rocks show.

"We're excited to play at Monolith and we're excited to see all the other bands," Rush said. "I think people will want to see us, because we bring something experimental and new to the table." - Daily Camera


2006 - Demo

2008 - Full Length, "...Half-Told Bedtime Stories," featured on local radio stations, 91x, FM 94.9, 102.1 KPRI, and LA's Indie 103.1



Wendy Darling are a young San Francisco-based indie outfit fronted by female vocalist and occasional mutli-instrumentalist, Cori Rush, a raw, stunning, 6’ tall talent with pipes to back up the look. Rush’s unique vocal stylings have been compared to the likes of Karen O, Kim Deal, Natalie Merchant, and Jenny Lewis just to name a few.

Formed in San Diego, this energetic band was originally visualized as an acoustic singer-songwriter duo of Rush and Nate Heller (guitar, vocals). They had an instant musical chemistry, and as they developed their sound, they realized the music deserved fuller arrangements. Cue high school buddies Jon Freeman (bass, synth) and Hector Verdugo (drums, piano), who’ve added playful melodies and that soulful indie sound.

2008 was the break out year for Wendy Darling, playing to packed venues throughout California, inking a record deal with Surfrock International in Japan, and reaching the top 50 on the international charts after the release of its debut album, “Half-Told Bedtime Stories…” which has received rave reviews, solid airplay, and loads of media coverage.

Wendy Darling has continued to fine-tune its style, incorporating more complex instrumentation (including banjo, glockenspiel, samplers and accordion), but have focused on keeping Rush's sultry, honey-dripped vocals the essence of the band. The resulting live shows are a blend of indie rock and folk, with touches of electronica and vintage psychedelic that delivers an exclusive style with catchy hooks. There is sincerity, innocence, and just the right amount of zest in the music that comes out of Wendy Darling. The band loves to share its music, and after listening to a track or two, you’ll most assuredly want to do the same.