Mari Sandvær Kreken and Tor Egil Kreken, better known as Norwegian folk duo Darling West, are proud to share their anticipated new album We’ll Never Know Unless We Try, released today via Jansen Records. Leaning into sunny California dreamscapes, the album 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. We’ll Never Know Unless We Try is available today, click here to purchase or stream.
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” (watch the video here via The Bluegrass Situation) and “Can’t Help It” to tear-jerker ballads like “The Calling” and “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; they recently spoke with The Queue Magazine about their diverse musical roots. 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.
Darling West recently concluded a U.S. radio tour before performing an official showcase at Folk Alliance International in New Orleans; the band spoke with The Boot about the conference’s key role in helping international artists make oversea connections and how songwriting creates equity, saying, “As long as artists keep writing about true things and touching hearts, and not making music only to be rich and famous, we believe we have a powerful equity maker through art and culture.”
“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.