Darling West To Release New Full-Length Album
We’ll Never Know Unless We Try
Album Out February 7, 2020; American Songwriter Premieres
New Single “Hey There”
December, 2019 – Nashville, TN – Mari Sandvær Kreken and Tor Egil Kreken, better known as Norwegian folk duo Darling West, have just announced a brand new full-length album, We’ll Never Know Unless We Try, to be released on February 7, 2020 via Jansen Records. Leaning into sunny California dreamscapes, We’ll Never Know Unless We Try is a little west of center for the band’s sound—a sound that Lucinda Williams dubbed “Cosmic Folk” after her first time sharing a stage with Mari and Tor Egil—but never loses the charm and feel Darling West fans have quickly grown to love since the band’s first record was released in 2014. Today, American Songwriter premiered “Hey There,” the new single from We’ll Never Know Unless We Try, commenting, “The sound puts a distinctly Nordic twist on American, and Americana, songwriting tradition…beautifully melodic vocals.” Darling West explains the origins of the track, “It’s not always easy to be inspired to write songs when everything feels good and you’re content. Usually, it all just comes out cheesy and it feels awkward. ‘Hey There’ came together in that kind of moment. We decided to put all fear of cliches aside and just celebrate the beauty of the connection between two people and true love as we know it.”
Writing all but one song by themselves, Mari and Tor Egil run the gamut of folk music. From top-down-wind-in-your-hair pop songs like “Make It Last” and “Can’t Help It” to tear-jerker ballads like “The Calling” and the previously mentioned “Hey There.” “True Friends” is the only co-write on We’ll Never Know Unless We Try, penned by Darling West alongside two stars of Nashville’s new generation of songwriters, Aaron Lee Tasjan and Erica Blinn. Overall, Darling West do wear their hero’s influence on their sleeves. Tinges of Fleetwood Mac or Jackson Browne or The Byrds seep into the duo’s trademark Scandinavian folk sound but always take a secondary role to the duo’s wildly unique arrangements, expansive harmonies, and never-leave-your-head melodies.
Since the release of their Spellemann-winning (Norwegian Grammy) album Vinyl and a Heartache (2016), Darling West been to the United States so often that you could easily call it their second home. Their Nordic twist on American songwriting traditions was further showcased with While I Was Asleep (2018). This time, parts of the new album were written in Nashville and on the tour throughout the US and Europe. We’ll Never Know Unless We Try was recorded in Propeller Studios in Oslo, and is produced by Kåre Chr. Vestrheim (Marit Larsen, Highasakite).
“After two years of intense touring, and meeting tons of people, we are left with a feeling that there are many good forces at work in the world, even though the state of things can sometimes seem hopeless,” Mari and Tor Egil recall. “Even though it wasn’t a planned theme in the songwriting process, we seem to have been inspired by this, and that hope and encouragement has become a common thread in our lyrical universe this time around.”
Visit darlingwest.com for more information on We’ll Never Know Unless We Try as well as upcoming tour dates and news.