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Single “Lay Down Low” out now

Making a name as one of the biggest breakthrough artists on the international Americana scene with their debut album Go By Feel, Canadian folk/country/roots collective, The Hello Darlins have returned with an even more ambitious collection of material for 2024 – a double album titled The Alders & The Ashes. 


Led by Romani-Canadian musician, Candace Lacina and world-renowned keyboardist Mike Little, The Hello Darlins are some of Canada’s most in-demand professional session & touring musicians who came together to forge a distinct hybrid of country, gospel and blues. With millions of streams and three Canadian Folk Music Awards nominations, The Hello Darlins took to the road for 187 days in 2023, showing that the band sounds just as powerful on stage as it does in the studio. As individuals, the members of The Hello Darlins are known for backing some of the biggest names in music (BB King, Shania Twain, Rodney Crowell), and as a band they have paid their dues playing live in other configurations.

The Hello Darlins are offering a taste of The Alders & The Ashes with new single “Lay Down Low,” a sweet two-step ballad which fully shows off the band’s skills at acoustic arrangements, on top of Candace’s unmistakable vocals. “Lay Down Low” was about finding comfort in life’s simple things, or in Candace’s words, “the feeling that sometimes doing nothing is just as important as doing something.”

She adds, “The world was feeling uncertain, the ‘unknown’ was overwhelming. Information is always coming at you … good news, bad news – it’s hard to know one from the other. It almost felt paralyzing, and … I’m sensitive.” she laughs.  “One morning Mike and I just decided to turn off the outside world and slow dance around our kitchen. For some reason it felt like a hard reset. It was a reminder that simple moments are sometimes more important than the adrenaline-filled ones we’re drawn to.”

Listen to “Lay Down Low” here: Lay Down Low The Hello Darlins.wav

The Hello Darlins’ ambitious sophomore effort was recorded at L.A.’s famed United Recording Studios with multi-Grammy winning engineer Ross Hogarth (John Mellencamp, Edgar Winter, Joe Bonamassa, Jewel), and contributions from bassist Bob Glaub (Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, John Fogerty) and drummer Chad Cromwell (Neil Young, Brian Wilson, Dolly Parton). The Hello Darlins were also fortunate to partner for a second time on mixes with Grammy Award winner Mike Poole. (Robert Plant, Patti Griffin, Alabama, Dolly Parton, Buddy & Julie Miller). In all, it was a magical experience for The Hello Darlins’ creative core, vocalist/lyricist Candace Lacina, keyboardist/producer Mike Little and guitarist/co-producer Murray Pulver.

In keeping with their spirit of collaboration, The Alders & The Ashes will again feature many other friends and guests, a trait that has led The Hello Darlins to earn the reputation as Canada’s “most impressive roots collective” or a “One-band Americana Festival.”

International audiences had the first chance to see them in 2023 when the band showcased at UK Americana Music Week, along with performing for Canada Day in London’s Trafalgar Square and a third tour of Europe. From there, The Hello Darlins joined with their friend Matt Andersen for a 36-date, cross-Canada tour that marked their formal introduction to audiences in their home country. Playing sold out shows in revered venues such as Massey Hall (Toronto) to the National Arts Centre (Ottawa) the band proved they were truly ready for big stages by delivering a tight, uplifting show that highlighted the musical skills of each member.

Often compared to The EaglesThe BandBonnie Raitt and classic country acts like Dolly Parton and The Carter Family, it’s impossible not to be moved by the band’s flawless group harmonies and ability to deliver the highest level of musicianship in a variety of styles that encompass the Americana genre. “It’s like having a songbook that doesn’t fence you in.” says Candace. “We love to play everything, and the album represents our live show. Mike comes from blues and rock, and I come from the house of bluegrass and gospel. We were also bottle-raised by folk and country music and most of all – we really love songwriting.”  

This is evident on the new album with standout tracks like “Forgiving Cain & Loving Abel”, “Best Worst Mistake”, folky songs about forgiveness and personal struggle, as well as the straight-forward bluegrass song, “Died with His Boots on” a true story about Candace’s grandfather. The Hello Darlins have also included some of their signature vintage-soul style in songs like “Better Days” featuring Dave Fenley and “Stranger in the Mirror’ ‘ a nod to Lowell George, featuring folk-troubadourMartin Sexton.

According to Mike, “The ‘Alders’ songs were more reminiscent of debut album Go By Feel—heartfelt and emotional. The ‘Ashes’ represents a few songs with a different edge. There’s some up-tempo blues, bluegrass, southern rock-inspired songs that I think present a more complete picture of the band’s live show.”

As for how they wound up in L.A., Candace explains, “We had a call with a studio agent who loves Americana music, and he invited us to record at United. The timing was perfect because we had all the material written and ready to go. It was like being on hallowed ground there. You could FEEL it in the ether, in the walls. It was just incredible to be in a space creating our music where so many heroes like Linda Ronstadt, Neil Young and The Doors stood who were part of creating the original Americana sound.” 

The title The Alders & The Ashes is symbolic of change and growth. “We’ve been through a lot over the past few years, personally and professionally. There were many new beginnings and a few painful endings – but it feels like a new season and it’s exciting.”, says Candace. Certainly, the band has a lot to be excited for in 2024, already with several significant announcements – including two more tours of Europe and a prime slot at the iconic Tønder Festival, headlined by Rodney Crowell. With the release of 17 new tracks and another album already in the works, The Hello Darlins are definitely ready to see many future seasons of excitement.

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