Having made a huge splash on the international Americana scene in 2021 with their debut album, Go By Feel, Canadian country/roots collective The Hello Darlins are gearing up to return with an even more ambitious collection of material for their sophomore release.
Tentatively slated for Autumn 2023, it will be a two-part, double album consisting of 18 songs laid down in February 2022 at L.A.’s famed United Recording with multiple Grammy-winning engineer Ross Hogarth (R.E.M., Hall & Oates, John Mellencamp, John Fogerty). Additionally, the rhythm section for the sessions consisted of A-listers Bob Glaub on bass (Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Warren Zevon) and drummer Chad Cromwell (Neil Young, Brian Wilson, Bonnie Raitt). In all, it was a magical experience for The Hello Darlins’ creative core, vocalist/lyricist Candace Lacina, keyboardist/co-producer Mike Little and guitarist/co-producer Murray Pulver.
According to Mike, “The album was written over a month at the start of 2022 when our EU tour and showcase at AmericanaFest UK was canceled due to Omicron. The songs are kind of a combination of the heartfelt and emotional material on Go By Feel, and a bit more edgy stuff that touches on up-tempo blues, bluegrass, and southern rock that I think present a more complete picture of the band’s live show.”
As for how they wound up in L.A., Candace explained, “We had a call with a studio agent there who loves Americana music, and he liked our album. He invited us to record at United, and the timing was perfect because we had all the material written and ready to go. It was like being on hallowed ground there. You could FEEL it in the ether, in the walls. It was just incredible to be in a space creating our music where so many of our heroes like Linda Ronstadt, Neil Young and The Doors stood who were part of creating the original Americana sound.”
The Hello Darlins are currently on tour across Canada with Matt Andersen and have taken advantage of that by releasing In The Sundust, a seven-song teaser of the new record that’s available now on all digital platforms. The latest single from it is “What Is A Broken Heart For?” an upbeat rocker accompanied by a fun video showing Mike picking up hitchhiking band members in his VW microbus–although Candace ultimately gets the last laugh.
Since forming in 2016, The Hello Darlins have quickly become one of Canada’s most successful independent country bands, with over one million streams and three Canadian Folk Music Awards nominations generated by Go By Feel. With Candace, Mike and Murray as the creative core, the band also features a cast of some of the country’s top roots musicians, including Clayton Bellamy (The Road Hammers), Dave and Joey Landreth (a.k.a. The Bros. Landreth), Russell Broom (Jann Arden), and ace fiddler Shane Guse.
Making music influenced by times of joy and sorrow is natural for Candace and Mike, as both come from families with long musical traditions within Canada. It all adds up to The Hello Darlins preferring to add “North” to the Americana genre, a more than symbolic gesture that’s in line with a musical vision that continues to evolve.