• Feature

Royal Recommends: Margaret Darling

Royal Holland got tired of people not knowing or seemingly not caring about music from amazing musicians who don't have the marketing power to make you want to get their music. Often times, the music being posted is free, it only costs a small amount of your time, and could change the way you look at creativity. Support the ones close to you and they will sprout wings.  

Margaret Darling
I've got to get back to writing positive things about musicians that I love. I've got to not fall in to the rancor trap that is dangerously close to swallowing us all whole. I don’t want you down there either, so if you need a hand to grab. I've got a couple.  

The best way for me to stay positive right now is to write about my sister Margaret Darling, and the music she makes, and the way she helps keep me sane by being a super amazing person and adopted sibling. I had known Margaret for a while, during her stint with the phenomenal, synth driven pop/rock/folk/alternative band The Seedy Seeds. They were always a favorite of mine and many others as you probably already know. Once that project met it's demise, however, I was super curious as to what Margaret would do next. She had been writing a bunch of more folk skewed musics that really showcased the beauty of her voice and the strength of her writing/lyricism. Needless to say when she mentioned wanting some people to play with her, I jumped at the chance to dust off my drum kit and bang the skins for her. 

I played maybe a handful of shows with her, and we began to become fast friends. She had said she might give it a shot with some other folks (the first time I played with her it was definitely not quite the sound she was going for) and I said, yeah! go get it! She did go get it, and she began developing and refining her new sound more and more, making it quite something we can all believe in.

Time again passed, and Margaret reached out to me again later on as my old project The Koala Fires, was winding down and I was starting to write more folk skewed songs to try and accomplish solo and live.  

We began playing shows together she as Margaret Darling, myself as Royal Holland. we began getting depressed at the same time in the winters. I began playing drums with her again, and we started developing the current Margaret Darling sound together, through discussions of Folk Music and how the music industry was broken and that some people had to take up the torch of what music should be in these trying times. Her music began to evolve and solidify into something very beautiful and tremendous. A force that is untamable, and wild in it's presentation, whilst being very thoughtful and refined in it's execution. 

This my friends, is the best definition of Margaret Darling, and is one of the reasons she and I are now siblings. She's always thinking and planning, refining, making better. Quietly she plots and schemes wonderful things which she then asks me to help her execute. You may meet her someday and you will be surprised that I call her wild. She is quiet and well spoken. A true lady and intellectual. However, there is the wild streak in Margaret's heart that will not be tamed. She is my spirit animal in a lot of ways because of this. I feel she balances me and my mountain man swagger out in a lot of great ways, and her music is a truly wonderful representation of that inner balance, elegance and steadiness.

Not to mention her voice is god-damned gorgeous. If you thought that wouldn't fall along the same lines - teetering between the wild and the sophisticated, then in moments of listening to her tune 'Ragnarok' you would know what I mean.

It was released this past year on the Arnold's Bar and Grill Record Store Day limited edition release 'Bootlegger's & Hustlers Vol. 2', and it starts out innocently enough. A kick drum and maraca keeping beat, but then... but then, the chorus hits and it swells into the glorious dirge that it is. How she writes lyrics that cut your heart so precisely, while still leaving you with a feeling of hope and conquest, I may never know. I will however always be able to recognize a Margaret Darling song in this way. Just let her soothe your savage beast while also calling it to battle. Let's ride our armored vessels to Valhalla while the sun shines off our bloodied shields. Let's fight beside one another as brothers and sisters and never tire of grasping a hold of the horizon.

You'll have to skip forward to 19:50 on this video to hear the tune “Ragnarok” but you could also just listen to the whole thing as it's got quite a lot of great local music on it.