When The Darcys revealed their new album would be called Fear & Loneliness, it implied the record would be made up of sad songs and broken hearts.
While that prediction wasn't too far off, it also isn't a fair assessment, although the duo made up of Jason Couse and Wes Marskell are clearly working through some things in the newly released record. The pair made clear for months this record was reflective of the Toronto natives' recent move to Los Angeles and the struggles which have ensued.
Despite the bright lights and glowing beaches, surviving Hollywood has proven to be a challenge for many. And moving to L.A. on the cusp of a global pandemic probably didn't aid much in the duo's sense of anxiety, paranoia and disillusionment.
As Marskell puts it, the narrative of the album tells the story of "this backlot cowboy character, who is essentially a fictional hybrid of Jason and myself. We had recently moved to L.A. and unloaded a lot of our anxiety and fear into this poor guy."
The result is a record of confessions, of hopes and dreams, of deep loss and big wins, of huge highs and ruinous lows, of regret, of bold leaps and big drama. And if there's one running thread throughout the LP, that's it. From the first few seconds of the opening track (which is also the title track), it's clear listeners are about to go on a cinematic journey, with each track playing out like a scene of a Hollywood classic.
Coming four years after The Darcys' last album Centerfold, despite the sense of struggle and distress, Fear & Loneliness represents distinct growth, as Couse and Marskell cement their seamless partnership, showing off an ability to trust each other and take big chances, while demonstrating a level of honesty and vulnerability which is both relatable and appreciated, especially in this moment.
Hear the full album below.