Daragh – Young and Stupid (2021)

As the title of his debut EP suggests Young and Stupid by Daragh tells the story of being young and experiencing everything from love to longing and nostalgia. With plenty of time to reflect over the last year, Daragh looks at growing up set to the sound of 80s guitars and 60s psychedelia. While a personal reflection on his past self, the tracks of the EP are relatable as we have all gone through similar emotions.

This dive into a reflection of youth not only draws on Daragh personal experiences but his musical knowledge. As the former guitarist and songwriter of Company Ink, he earned a name for himself with distinct melodic guitars and funky bass. While experiencing success with the band, over the last year, he has hit out on a solo path with his single releases landing him radio play.

The EP opens with the title track ‘Young and Stupid’ that lulls you into dreamy waves of sound. The synths are a rich bed that you sink into while Daragh’s voice mists over your senses. The bubbling tones that come through the low levels add a forward movement to the song that enhances the dreaminess of the soundscape. As you rest on the rich synths, the lyrics consider masks we put on to make others think we are doing well. This is mixed with a contemplation on youthful relationships. It is an easy way to open the EP and really sets the tone.

‘Blissfully Blue’ has a touch of melancholy in the dream-pop tones. Through the vocal performance, you are filled with the lethargy that comes on days when you have nothing to do and don’t want to get up. The emotion of these moments has been perfectly captured by the song and turned into an engaging track. The light thrum in the low levels contrasts the lighter tones to bring a sunny day that is muted by the lethargy of the vocals. Through all of this, the lyrics pick up moments in time that are filled with conflicting emotions and touches of melancholy. The guitar riff that comes later is a wonderful insertion that brings a little something to the track.

Daragh’s vocals open ‘Those Who’ve Gone’ while the acoustic guitar strums below. There is a stripped back feeling to the opening of the track that adds power to the vocals. The layering of the guitars creates a bed for the sighing vocals to hover over. This is an interesting track as it straddles the line of hazy acoustics, dreamy tones and subdued vocals. There is a power in this track that really reaches into your chest and plucks at your emotions.

The EP comes to a close with the slightly indie-rock tones of ‘Ordinary, Loud and Cheery’. The guitars that open the track bring a wash of indie rock that turns into a nostalgic sway. Weaving through this sound are the vocals that capture insecurity and acceptance. This is an interesting mixture as you are hit with the insecurity that many face in their young tempered by the understanding that they are different to what everyone thinks they should be. The higher tones that cascade through the soundscape meet the guitars in a wonderfully harmonious way that makes it easier to breathe. This is possibly the best track on the EP because of the delicate movements and poignant emotions.

Daragh has you reflecting on the emotions of youth while sinking into the rich and dreamy sounds of his songs with his debut EP Young and Stupid. While each track has a touch of dream-pop, there is a mix of acoustics and indie rock that brings a new dimension to each song. This is an unbelievably easy EP to listen to and you will be shocked when it comes to an end.

Find out more about Daragh on his Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.

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