Most of these appeared on the band’s eponymous 2009 sophomore album, which followed their critically adored 2008 debut, Nice Nice; both were produced by Gregg Williams (Blitzen Traper, Dandy Warhols). Daven, singer-keyboardist Jasmine Ash, bassist J.Marie Hall and drummer Jake Endicott began playing together in 2006 in Portland, Oregon; L.A. became their base of operations in 2009. Ash’s gossamer vocals are undergirded by surprisingly muscular arrangements and wild tempo shifts, as the band alternates melodic sweetness with propulsive rock.
Daven’s incisive guitar lines and the tight rhythmic interplay of J.Marie and Jake evoke influences as diverse as Talking Heads, Blondie, Metric, Kate Bush, Phoenix, Built to Spill and Eels. The net effect, judging by the words of admiring reviewers, is equal parts enchantment and energy. “It's impossible not to get a contact buzz from the band's buoyant, charming pop,” declared the Portland Tribune. “Fronted by one of the cutest gals in town, Oh Darling possess an intriguing yet subtle mix of sexual tension, plus plenty of indie pop goodness in their delivery,” proclaimed the music blog NadaMucho.
“Jasmine Ash knows how to write catchy pop songs as delicious as Cheerios in chocolate milk.” Flavorpill, meanwhile, praised their “intoxicating blend of indie rock” and “unapologetic, perfectly crafted pop punch.” The Vanguard admired their “wealth of adorable melodies” and “healthy propensity for matching outfits”. Jasmine and J.Marie do indeed tend to coordinate their vibrant retro wardrobes onstage, eschewing sexpot clichés in favor of classic, colorful, vintage frocks. Oh Darling have toured up and down the West Coast numerous times and appeared at venues like the Doug Fir, Viper Room, Spaceland and the Hotel Café; they’ve shared stages with local favorites like The 88 and Fitz & The Tantrums. Everywhere they’ve gone, they’ve left audiences spellbound and smiling.
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