Darlingside | Photo Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN | jeremy-zim.com

“We love Philadelphia, and we love radio!” exclaimed Darlingside vocalist/guitarist Harris Paseltiner at the beginning of the band’s NonCOMM opening set on the upstairs stage at World Cafe Live. After a rousing introduction from NPR Music’s Bob Boilen and a few jokes from the band (“We wonder who has more hair, Kurt Vile or all four of us combined”), the band broke into a short but sweet set, adorned not only with laughs but beautiful music from their debut, Birds Say.

For those who were disheartened by Mumford & Sons ditching their “signature” banjo, Darlingside makes up for that loss and more. But since the band is probably sick of the comparisons to the Sons, I won’t put them in that box.

Darlingside – NONCOMM 2016

Actually, Darlingside’s influences range far greater than acoustic guitars and kick drums. While they may utilize these instruments, their vocal inflections and baroque undertones actually and more comparable to those of Sufjan Stevens or Vampire Weekend. Songs such as the upbeat “Go Back” and the orchestral yet humorous “Harrison Ford” brought laughs and thunderous applause from the audience upstairs. For four guys making that much sound, they made it look easy.

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The God of Loss
Go Back
Harrison Ford
Blow the House Down