On the surface, Streaking in Tongues take a twisted carnival soundtrack and inject it with smart, self-aware lyrical fodder in “Irrational Blues,” but when we look deeper at this song – and all fourteen of its tracklist neighbors in the brand new album Oh My Darlin’ – we discover an emotional ballad that is as driven by acidic jazz rhythm as it is broken folk melodies. What’s more is that this isn’t the only song of its kind on Oh My Darlin’; “Inside out and on My Ass” takes us on a winding road that, despite being set to a completely different pace than the furious “Nothing Quite Like It in the World,” is similarly gargantuan and groove-powered. “My Single Wife” is boastfully strange and simple where “Fear of Limbo” is eagerly indulgent, and even a little bloated, but for some odd reason they make sense together in this smorgasbord of acoustic songcraft and surrealism. “We’re Still Gonna Be All Right” is as cathartic as its title implies it would be, but in the treasure chest of tracks here, it’s on par with every other high caliber composition on Oh My Darlin’.
“Sunlight of a Thousand Babes” is a little too scattered to be consumed in the same sitting as the sweet “Our Love (Couldn’t Outrun a Train),” but both songs are a triumph of textural expression regardless of their many aesthetical differences. Some would think of “I’m Gonna Love the Hell out of You” as being derivative, but I honestly disagree – it’s indeed a firm nod to an indie folk of yesteryear, but like everything else on Oh My Darlin’, it feels real and unblemished by the plague of an homage-obsessed culture. “Screw Up” is the most passionate performance bearing the Streaking in Tongues moniker that I’ve heard, but after getting into this album lately, I’m feeling very compelled to take a glance at their full discography all over again. They’re just starting to share with us their highest caliber content, i.e. tracks like “A Blessing I Can’t Earn” and the experimental “Damn Machine,” and I for one cannot wait to hear where they take their sound next.
The grinding of gears in the percussive pulse behind “Rock n Roll Will Never Love You Like I Do” is as abrasive as it’s going to get in Oh My Darlin’, and next to “Wait Wait Wait Wait Wait for Me,” it’s a Molotov cocktail and stiff, much-needed palate cleaner. In all of the songs that come out of the shadows following “Sure as Heaven,” there’s a confidence that you just can’t find everyday in popular music anymore, and it’s generated by both the assault of Streaking in Tongues and the vibrancy of the music they create when they’re performing in total synchronicity.
They’ve come a long way in a short time, and if they’re able to maintain the standard that they’ve set for themselves in records like this one, they’re going to find a lot of mainstream applause much sooner than later. Oh My Darlin’ is an opus, and I can’t imagine that I’m the only one who thinks so.