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Caffè Lena @ SPAC: Darlingside

w/ opener Field Guide

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Known for layered harmonies and intelligent songwriting, Darlingside combines classical, baroque folk-pop & rock into a dynamic live show


Caffè Lena has been part of Darlingside’s growth ever since 2013, when they first played the legendary Saratoga venue as part of a mid-week Emerging Artist Breakout series. The ensuing years brought annual shows at Lena’s and the band began to gain national attention, with NPR describing Darlingside’s indie rock as “exquisitely arranged, literary minded, baroque folk-pop.” Their compositions are strikingly elegant, and the unity of their voices is beyond compare, garnering praise from Rolling Stone and The New Yorker and fueling the growth of a worldwide following. With a vigor and discipline more common to graduate-level writing workshops than to indie rock, Darlingside has, over the years, experimented with all manners of idiosyncratic methods for elevating and upholding a truly democratic process of songwriting – processes that include multiple rounds of group writing and recording exercises.

The band’s fourth LP, Everything Is Alive, marks a subtle but remarkable departure. Grappling with change both personal and universal, with quandaries domestic and existential, their latest album is about loss and the struggle for redemption. It was produced and recorded by the band and mixed by Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Sufjan Stevens, Iron and Wine). It’s rare that a group of musicians make the whole greater than the sum of its parts – and to see Darlingside perform live is to confirm this special chemistry. We are excited to bring Darlingside back to Saratoga Springs for Caffè Lena@SPAC.

Field Guide

Field Guide (aka Dylan MacDonald) is a weaver of worlds. Built around his inviting voice and wrapped in warm textures, his self-titled sophomore full-length builds his most engaging world yet. It lives in a place between darkness and hopefulness with unshakeable melodies at its heart. “Melody is what makes words fall out of my mouth. It’s disarming. When I find a melody that represents my internal world, I drop my guard. I allow the words to appear out of thin air without judgement. A lot of these songs came to life that way. I wasn’t trying to make anything, but the songs became a home for words that I wasn’t yet ready to write on the page,” MacDonald says. “Field Guide creates a chimerical dreamlike soundscape, brought to life by his soft-spoken lyrical imaginings.” (Under the Radar). Indie 88 writes: “With tender instrumentals and intimate vocals, [Field Guide] is sure to pull at your heartstrings…he has truly cemented a signature sound.”

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