“You’ve heard it before and surely you’ll hear it again, like right now: Silver Darling’s Your Ghost Fits My Skin offers a fine array of songwriting and production. The band goes beyond throwing down tracks for the sake of churning out a CD and adopts the painstaking task of constructing sounds to draw out a full range of emotions. And Silver Darling’s live show, powerful and dramatic, further exemplifies the passion that goes into their songwriting. Even atheists can’t help but to feel a little bit full of the Holy Ghost at an SD show.”
– Josh Fernandez, Sacramento News and Review, 2/19/09
“Last-call wails and prayers from this soul-stirring Americana trio from Sacramento, Calif. like Nick Cave taking residency in the Deadwood Saloon.”
– Yes Weekly
“Silver Darling’s Kevin Lee, an unassuming character, reminds me of a guy who is going to get onstage, mumble a few bars and leave early to go drink whiskey with his grandpa. But that’s far from the truth: His voice is so soulful that his squeezed-shut eyes flutter with emotion as he sings. His vocals—which reach Roy Orbison levels of howling sadness (“Leave My Body Like a Stone”) and Gordon Gano (Violent Femmes) caliber of insanity (“Death: Has No Victory”)—lead the band down a dusty path that’s full of spirit as well as devilish mischief. Which reminds me: Doesn’t Lee sound a little bit like Glenn Danzig in his pre-getting-punched-out-by-the-singer-of-the-North Side Kings days?
Anyway, it’s good to know that Silver Darling’s live act is just as fascinating as their recorded material. So if you don’t yet have Silver Darling’s Your Ghost Fits My Skin, get it at www.cdbaby.com; it’s a truly extraordinary piece of work. And catch them live when they perform with the Cave Singers and Oh Foot at the UC Davis Coffee House (in the Memorial Union on campus) on Wednesday, October 1, at 7 p.m. for $5.”
– Josh Fernandez, Pious hipsters and darling bangers
“With many different choices, as usual, on how to spend your evenings this weekend, I recommend stoping in at the Comet Tavern this Saturday to check out one of Northern California’s most upcoming bands, Silver Darling. This three piece americana alt-country folk group has been gaining a lot of recent attention in the bands local Sacramento and Davis music scenes. They have become a rotating favorite on KDVS, a University of Davis college-run radio station, as well as being featured in Sacramento’s established entertainment newspaper, News & Review. They wear their influences on their sleeve, sounding a lot like a mix between Uncle Tupelo, M. Ward, Bill Withers, and Damien Jurado, whom they will playing alongside with later next month for the band’s upcoming CD Release show. They have one record to their name, Wrap Around My Heart, with another, Your Ghost Fits My Skin on it’s way which will be release this fall on Crossbill Records. This will be their first visit through the Pacific Northwest, playing in Olympia tonight and Seattle Tomorrow. If your looking for some good and honest alt-country, I highly recommend checking them out. Being from Sacramento myself, I always look forward to going home and catching one of their always amazing shows. Plus, if nothing else, it’s always great music to drink to.”
– Silver Darling: Holy Oak and Muddy Banks,TheStranger.net, posted by TJ Gorton, August 1, 2008
“The common pitfalls of Americana and new folk are easily avoided on this album; there’s not a sloppy or superfluous moment to speak of. From Kevin Lee’s vocals—sad and full of soul—to Christian Kiefer’s meticulous production, Sacramento’s Silver Darling tells a dark story with many eerily joyful revelations along the way. Tracks like “Living for Breath” are brilliantly paced, taking ample time to play with the listener’s mood; “Holly Oak, Muddy Banks,” on the other hand, is wild and unpredictable—Silver Darling become spiritual madmen entrenched in song. Your Ghost Fits My Skin is thoughtful, odd and masterfully executed. Josh Ahlansberg’s guitar work is sly, Jesse Phillips’ bass is orienting, and songs like “Rosewood Country Face” leave your head dizzy and your heart heavy with joy.”
-Josh Fernandez, Sacramento News & Reviews
“There are tons upon tons of bands playing the style of music that the guys in Silver Darling play. Accordingly, the world of sparse, subdued, progressive folk/pop/alt-country can be somewhat of a dangerous territory to be in. Songs are at the heart of it all, however, and songs are what make Your Ghost Fits My Skin an interesting and intriguing spin. Vocalist/guitarist Kevin Lee Florence seems to have more to say than the average underground alt-country artist…and in many cases the way he says it is a helluva lot more interesting. He has a nice loose sounding voice that comes across sounding spontaneous and ever-so-slightly unrehearsed. Florence writes tunes that recall music from the 1930s and 1940s…but the band has a decidedly twenty-first century sound and style. Fourteen interesting cuts here including “Living For Breath,” “Interlude,” “My Hidden Wife,” and “Hanging Rest.” (Rating: 5)
– Baby Sue music blog reviews Silver Sarling and gives the record a 5 out of 6
“Having your own music blog has its positives and negatives. You have the exhausting task of constantly upholding an image of actually knowing what you’re talking about, and sometimes you’d just rather play guitar hero than be tethered to your obligatory daily post. Sometimes you ask yourself “What’s the freakin’ point?” Then you get an advance copy of an album entitled Your Ghost Fits My Skin by a Sacramento band named Silver Darling and you’re reminded why you do this: to spread the word about good music. Yeah, Silver Darling meets the prerequisites listed in the alt. country/folk rock band handbook. Facial hair? Check. Western shirts? Check. But are they actually good? Hell yes. The band’s strength lies in lead singer and ex-construction worker Kevin Lee’s deeply honest delivery. Lee’s words ooze credibility and the songs on Your Ghost Fits My Skin can go from raucous jangle to intensely haunting without warning. It’s a memorable debut I’d strong recommend picking up on September 7th when it’s released on California-based Crossbill Records.
– Capt. Obvious, ThanksCaptainObvious.net, August 8, 2008
“I was going to take the day off from posting today. The weather’s great in Chicago if you like 90+ degrees. And I thought I’d get out and enjoy it. But thanks to Crossbill Records I’ve got to stay in and blog about Silver Darling. Crossbill Records is a great, small California label with a roster that is growing. The label is headed by Michael Leahy who you also may know as host of the Cool As Folk radio show on KDVS. I’ve written about their artist Matt Bauer and now they’ve sent me new music from the Davis based trio Silver Darling. This is an advance preview as the record doesn’t come out til October and even if you did want to buy it now you wouldn’t be able to. I’ll remind you about this release once you can pre-order it though.
Although Crossbill usually focuses on some strain of folk music, Silver Darling are a slight stretch for them. They play a ramshackle, very loose, folk rock with influences from The Band to The Mountain Goats. It’s some of my favorite kind of music. Listen to “Roof and the Seed” from the forthcoming debut LP Your Ghost Fits My Skin.
“For many touring bands, one of the keys to success is holding down a job that will allow them to go on tour for a long weekend, or even a full week at a time. For singer and guitar player Kevin Lee of Sacramento’s Silver Darling, he’s on the path the becoming an ultrasound technician, which also feeds his love for working with people. The other members of the band, guitar player Josh Ahlansberg and bassist Jesse Phillips, work at Trader Joes and as a movie theatre projectionist, respectively. Tomorrow, Silver Darling is heading out on their first tour north, heading all the way up to Seattle, and stopping at the Jambalaya in Arcata on Monday night. Up til now, they’ve mostly focused on weekend trips to the Bay Area and Southern California – points a little closer to home. “With gas right now, that’s what we’re going to continue to try to do,” says Lee, though they do have a couple more week-long tours planned by the end of this year.
Silver Darling is touring in support of their upcoming album, “Your Ghost Fits My Skin,” being officially released this September. The band’s original idea for the album’s recording was to rent some equipment and head out to a cabin in the woods, recording only on generator power. That didn’t quite go as planned. “As things progressed and we found out what kind of album we wanted to make,” says Lee. “It just wasn’t feasible to get a grand piano, for example, out in the middle of the national forest in Eldorado. And you can’t really ask someone to come play trumpet on one song, and have them drive three hours away. There ended up being a lot of logistical things.”
Lee is the songwriter for Silver Darling. He started playing guitar about five years ago, when what he really wanted to do was sing in a band. “I realized the only way that happens anymore is by writing songs,” says Lee. “So I started learning guitar, and Josh (Ahlansberg) would help me. As I started writing songs, he started writing lead guitar parts and different parts over it. We decided to make it a real band about a year-and-a-half ago.” Phillips was added to the line-up right as Lee and Ahlansberg prepared to record an EP, and wanted a little fuller sound. Things worked out so well, they had him join the band. That the trio is missing a drummer, is no accident, though that may change in the semi-near future. “It’s interesting that we were always so against it,” says Lee. “When we started off, we were still doing some real traditional material, very ballady type of things. Things where Jesse wouldn’t even play bass, he would maybe just do harmonies. But then as we’re together, and as I was writing songs for this new project, I just wrote it more with a full band in mind. So the CD that’s coming out in September has drums all over and vibraphones and horn, just more of a production.”
“Starting with our CD release show in Sacramento in September,” he continues, “We’re going to try to play with as full of a band as we can from there on out and just see where it goes. Maybe for the next record we strip back down again, but for right now, we’re adding drums. I never thought I would be saying that.” In writing songs for a full band, Lee still starts the process with a theme. “If I want to write something about friendship,” he says, “I can start there and start working it down until I end up with an experience that I had, or something that I observed, then I’ll write some of the lyrics. Then I try to write some music that fits with that, and flesh it out from there.”
Such methodology does not always work as planned, though. “Writing songs, you take it as you get it, for sure, and you’re just happy that it’s still coming,” says Lee. Silver Darling is excited to embark on this tour, getting to play with San Francisco’s Or, the Whale in Portland, and also just to take the drive up Highway 101 to Arcata. “I hear that it’s one of the best drives you can possibly take, so we’re looking forward to it,” says Lee.”
– Monica Topping, Silver Darling: The key to a good touring band is a forgiving job
The Times-Standard, July 24, 2008