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Review: Darity - Everything

We made it. Getting through 2020 was like that scene in John Wick (I forget which one, but, hey, they’re all pretty much the same movie and that is awesome) where Wick is bloody, exhausted and barely has enough reserve to tag the steps of The Continental to get some respite and find sanctuary, at least for a while. So it is with music and 2021 is a fresh start, a time for optimism. Darity’s new single “Everything” is perfectly timed to kick off the year and inject some hope into it.

Darity is Cincinnati native Linsley Hartenstein’s musical project; the project name finds its root in the word “solidarity”. At a time when we’re simultaneously more connected and isolated than ever, music is still one of the forces that can still bring us together and provide some badly needed positivity.

The opening pulsed static throbs like a fuzzy metallic heartbeat, then bursts open into warmer organic realms. It’s a sweet blend of pastoral and synthetic sounds; at times it almost feels like spring rain and sunshine beaming through lush forest leaves. The production is impressive, especially via headphones.

Hartenstein’s voice is lovely, and it shines on the track, at times sounding like a cross between Caroline Polachek and Kate Bush (without the piercing highs). It’s exactly the right balance of warmth and reserve to propel the track. Surviving 2020 puts everything in a new context. While it’s easy to read pandemic fear into a lyric like “Go wash your hands/spit out the medicine/ don’t catch their sickness…”, the song was first conceived in 2017. Take it how you will, but it feels like a rejection of negativity and a call to harness inner strength. Still, wash your hands. We all want to see live music again this year.

Life is still shaky, normal is a way off, but this song was the first hopeful ray of a new day rising for me in 2021. And while we’re still in isolation, what better promise could you ask for from an artist than, “I will walk with you through all of it”?