After establishing themselves on the international Americana scene earlier this year with their debut single “Still Waters (ft. Matt Andersen)” — 100K Spotify plays in three months! — The Hello Darlins today release its follow up, “Catch That Train.” The song continues the Calgary-based collective’s mission to deliver world-class tracks, and offers another preview of their upcoming full-length album Go By Feel.
“Catch That Train” is about making changes in your life that can be extremely difficult—with the other option being the status quo, and the dead end to which it will ultimately lead. With its message of “you gotta catch that train to save your soul,” the single perfectly encapsulates the spirit of The Hello Darlins in terms of new beginnings.
Written by the band’s core members, vocalist Candace Lacina, keyboardist Mike Little and guitar slinger Murray Pulver, the music reflects a sense of anticipation that change brings, while musically echoing the classic sounds of Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles.
In the video, Candace pays tribute to her family’s roots in Bohemia, which became the Czechoslovak Republic at the end of the First World War, and specifically her grandfather who embodied the modern connotation of “Bohemian” as an artistic person living an “unconventional” lifestyle. Wearing a traditional Bohemian outfit, Candace can be seen dabbling in old medicines and other symbols representing the possible positive futures for which art can be the catalyst.
Candace says, “It’s interesting that we’re living through a time that in many ways is signalling internal struggles for people. Change is the root of possibility, and I love that. It’s as though the environment is forcing us to face ourselves, review our circumstances, and find better ways forward.”
The concept of The Hello Darlins first took shape in 2016 when Candace and Mike (renowned for his prowess on the Hammond B-3 organ), crossed paths again after first meeting at a recording session six years earlier. They began making music together soon after the reunion, adding others from their musical circle whose combined resume encompassed work with Shania Twain, B.B. King, and a who’s who of Canadian country music. It’s not surprising that they began viewing the project as a roots rock version of indie rock icons Broken Social Scene, with a distinct hybrid of country, gospel and blues serving as their calling card.
“We write and play for a lot of great artists and we’ve always been IN the band,” Mike says. “It’s fun to have a killer project with our friends – who also happen to be really incredible musicians. As soon as things started coming together in the spring of 2019, we all felt that this was something special based on the songs and harmonies, and the authenticity of playing real instruments.”
Along with recording at their own studio in Calgary, The Hello Darlins have been laying down tracks with Pulver (Crash Test Dummies, The Bros. Landreth) at Winnipeg’s Stereobus, and have teamed up with multiple Grammy-winning engineer Mike Poole (Robert Plant, John Prine, ABC’s Nashville) to create a unique mix that supports the organic production approach.
It all adds up to The Hello Darlins preferring to add the great “North” to the Americana genre, a more than symbolic gesture in keeping with their musical vision that will continue to be revealed ahead of the arrival of Go By Feel. Based on what they’ve offered so far, the album can’t come soon enough!