"Around This Town" by Ross DarbyReview
Today is the release day for the new Ross Darby single "Around This Town", his first since the much applauded "Rose" which came out in July 2020 and recorded with Matt Waddell at 14 Records.
The song packs so much in that I checked the running time and it's less than three & a half minutes: it sounds and feels much longer, not least I suspect due to the overall urgency in its feeling & performance, driven by an unusually skittish & skifflish snare and a vocal which borders on the anxious.
Balancing this impression is Ross' characteristic ability to deliver a romantic melodicism which certainly on this occasion also tends towards the melancholic, and which serves in combination to put across what I imagine most of its listeners will recognise & share: social & personal anxiety, sadness over current circumstances & any optimism going forward textured with the experiences of recent months: a complex emotional story, but one Ross tells really effectively. There is even a decent element of tongue in cheek humour in how he describes the vanished lifestyle of hitting the town.
It takes experience & a subtle talent to express so much in a seemingly simple & direct, not to say memorable, track, but Ross pulls it off effortlessly & given that it captures the emotional essence of our times without going into any lyrical specifics, it should last the test of time: topical for today, yet timeless for the days ahead.
Ross tells me that he is looking forward to playing around these towns during the summer and has been working with Matt at 14 Records on more songs for release soon, including a never previously released Fallows track….. so join me please in watching this space…