For bands all over the world, 2020 has been a year unlike any other. The joy of making music is defined by playing with other musicians in front of a live audience - but in March, members of Say Darling found themselves stuck at home, separated by hundreds of miles. With shows rapidly vanishing and prospects of safe in-person concerts drifting farther and farther away, Say Darling leaned into the creative space offered by the global pause. All of a sudden there was ample time to write, focus on new skills, and simply be still after years of movement. After learning how to record and mix music at home, Say Darling came together together to create new music, offering perspective on this time “Before & After” the pandemic.
The first five songs, including co-writes by Celia Woodsmith and Chris Hersch, were recorded at Woolly Mammoth Sound and originally meant to be delivered on a full-length studio album. But then COVID hit… leading to a change of plans and to a whole new batch of songs born in the moment of 2020.
The final four tracks, penned by Woodsmith, were recorded at home during the months of quarantine that defined the summer of 2020. There is a distinct sonic and lyrical difference to ‘Side B’ that captures this historic moment in time. Featuring some special guests, Say Darling's four home recordings focus on feelings of isolation, racial justice, memories of the past, and longing for human connection.
“Before & After” is a reminder that the way we live has changed permanently - there will be no “going back to normal” after a vaccine is successfully employed. We will have to find new ways of being together, new ways of loving one another, and new ways of experiencing and creating music. Even uncomfortable changes can come with their benefits. As a human collective, we have to be creative about the solutions to our worldwide problems.
In a time when Say Darling could have chosen to hibernate through this moment, they chose to create - with hope for the future and reflection on the past.