Starting over can be daunting, but for Toronto-based alt-pop outfit Darcys, it was the only option. Nearly a year and a half ago, drummer Wes Marskell laid it all on the line in a confessional op-ed, revealing that the band had split in half, and that he and singer Jason Couse would soldier on, not as a rock band, but as a pop duo in the vein of Tegan & Sara. Considering they had just released the elaborate, guitar-driven conceptual art-rock record Warring, no one knew what to expect.
In 2016, Darcys are finally reborn, by way of the transformative, radio-ready, near-perfect earworm “Miracle.” We even called it one of our favourite Canadian songs of April. Today, Complex has the exclusive premiere of the “Miracle” lyric video, so you can learn the words and sing along to your new summer jam. The hypnotic neon clip is directed by Argentinian artist Kidmograph (Gustavo Torres) who has done work for Maroon 5, MS MR, and Fool's Gold Records in the past.
Take a rip in the Darcymobile above, and read our interview with Marskell below, wherein we chat briefly about the band’s transformation. You can catch Darcys live in Toronto at the Mod Club Theatre on Wednesday, May 25th, as part of Red Bull Sound Select with support from DCF. RSVP.
With “Miracle” being such a reinvention, why did you decide to keep the name Darcys?
Jason and I will always be Darcys, whether we're putting out a 20-minute instrumental song, a re-interpretation of Steely Dan's AJA, or producing tracks for other artists. Darcys have always been about reinvention, we've just never been so verbose about it. Starting a new band wouldn't be as exciting for us and wouldn't showcase the dramatic shift between records. When we first posted Miracle there were expectations and speculation about what it would sound like and how different it would be. I like the conversation. A lot of my favourite solo artists are unrecognizable from record to record and I don't see why a duo can't play that game too.
Has it been a challenge adapting the old songs, so that they’re playable within the new format?
A few years back I went to see Lauryn Hill and she did these terrible nu-mental versions of Miseducation that really broke my heart. I've conceded to the fact that I love a song the way I know a song. I don't want an acoustic version or a jazzy reworking. We tried messing around with a few of the older songs but none of it made any sense to us. In the end, it felt selfish to try to repackage old tunes just because we wrote a bunch of feel good summer jams. I didn't want to take away what people know and love about a song. The new set is mostly fresh but they're getting along with the oldies.
What did “Miracle” producer Shawn Everett bring to the table?
Shawn Everett is an assassin dressed like a wizard. I'm of the opinion he can do anything. We met Shawn at LAX 10 minutes before we flew to New Zealand for three weeks to work on Miracle and a few other skeleton tracks. We spent every waking hour together, either in the Red Bull's Auckland studio or at the house they put us all up in. We put a lot of trust in him as we needed to come home with the foundation of our new record. The whole time Shawn was the voice the pushed for the wilder and more extreme. We knew we wanted to make a change, but he was the one that made sure we didn't fall into any of our old habits.
Do you think Kidmograph captured the essence of “Miracle” with this lyric video?
Absolutely. I've always loved Kidmograph's work and referenced a lot of his catalogue when working on the album. From the get-go we wanted to make a late-night driving record, so when I saw the first draft of this I really felt like we were connecting with "Miracle." Summer nights, fast cars, neon lights, he just got it from listening to the song. Plus, I'm feeling that Darcymobile. I'd love to take that thing for a rip.