EP: The Darling Buds, Evergreen

The indie ’80s (and the pop ’80s at large) were bathed in the pungent aroma of floral references: from Morrissey’s gladioli (1984), to Pete Burns brandishing roses any chance he got, to the Primitives’ Thru The Flowers (1986), to the album cover of Voice of the Beehive’s Let It Bee (1988). Then along came the Darling Buds and, due in large part to their name, their single and album cover art work fairly reeked of blossoms.

Fast forward a few decades and the indie kids are still rocking those floral metaphors. First came the Primitives’ Petals from their 2014 Spin-O-Rama album (“you want a rose, but I’m just a daisy”), and now it’s the new single, Evergreen, from the ultimate purveyors of horticultural simile, the Darling Buds, from their EP of the same name.

That the Buds should be putting out new material for the first time in 25 years is surely cause in itself for a Bank holiday (oh wait, it’s Easter anyway), but that the two new songs receiving airplay so far are solid tunes that can hold their head up high among their back catalogue is an added bonus.

On lead track Evergreen, vocalist Andrea seems to have had it with her bloke’s rather predictable, unchangeable nature. What possibly seemed attractive at first, is now something altogether more mundane. And not only that, her bloke’s lost his wood too (!) So she’s all about taking him outside, shaking him up, and putting seeds in the ground (oo-er). There’s low-hanging fruit, trees and wood – all you need for a day in the country.

The delicate opening guitar picking, giving way to the thud of drums and crunchy guitars, brings to mind classic Buds: immediate, tuneful and sumptuous. As always, Andrea’s light, sunny vocal uplifts the spirit and provides a perfect airy foil for the boys’ more dense musical backdrop. Kind of like sunshine piercing a murky thicket. (Now they’ve got me doing it.)

The spry playfulness of the melody and lyrics on Evergreen and the driving pulse of a second song, Complicated, teased from the collection a few weeks ago, would suggest that, far from being past it, the Buds are still … errr …. evergreen. Didn’t see that coming, did ya?

* The Darling Buds’ 4-track 10-inch EP Evergreen is out on Odd Box Records on April 21.

https://oddboxrecords.bandcamp.com/album/evergreen-ep

 

Evergreen

Someday gonna take you by the hand

Walk up on the ridgeway – look down

Shake you up

Spin your head around

Take a little seed and put it in the ground

 

Open your mind

Where do all your thoughts go?

Open your eyes

Show me that you’re not so…

 

Evergreen

There’s nothing in-between

Evergreen

And you never fall far from the tree

 

The low-hanging fruit’s so easy to pick

But it tastes so bitter now

You’re adding to confusion, jumping to conclusions

You lost your wood in the trees

 

Open your mind

Where do all your thoughts go?

Open your eyes

Show me that you’re not so….

 

Evergreen

There’s nothing in-between

Evergreen

And you never fall far from the tree

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