The Hello Darlins is a Calgary-based roots rock collective who are due to release their debut album ‘Go By Feel’ in 2021. Founded by vocalist Candace Lacina and keyboardist Mike Little, the band is building on its burgeoning fanbase with the release of a Christmas EP ‘Heart in the Snow’. The 4-song collection features one cover version and three originals, and it’s an unusual move for a band that’s not even released an album yet.
‘Heart in the Snow’ opens with ‘Do You Hear What I Hear’, a cover of the classic song original recorded by the Harry Simeone Chorale. In the hands of The Hello Darlins, the track is transformed into a gentle beat-driven track with a little bit of a rock influence. Lacina’s vocals are beautiful and she sounds wonderful, particularly as she pushes into her upper range on the chorus.
The first of the original tracks, ‘One More Christmas’, follows and that’s when the EP really finds its feet. Written three years ago as a tribute to Little’s stepmother, who lost her fight against cancer, the song is incredibly emotional. It captures Little’s stepmother’s desire to share one final Christmas with her family and sadly she passed on Christmas Eve. Knowing that story, it’s hard to get through the song without a little tear or two.
‘The Night That He Arrived’, written by Sarah Van Peteghen, was written over a decade ago and it tells the story of the Nativity. The song features band member Brett Ashton on vocals, giving The Hello Darlins a completely different sound and feel. It’s a showcase of their versatility and it’s another beautiful song.
The EP comes to a close with the title track, ‘Heart in the Snow’, a song that originally started out as an instrumental. Lacina wrote lyrics to the track, inspired by her children’s earliest Christmas. It’s a sentimental and moving song with Lacina’s vocals causing goosebumps with every word she sings. Stunning strings add depth to the track and for me, it’s the best track of the four included here.
‘Heart in the Snow’ is a strong EP from The Hello Darlins and it’s got me very excited about their upcoming debut album. With only four songs to go off, I can see the band has huge promise and I’m desperate to hear more. I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll be hearing a lot more about The Hello Darlins in 2021.
Track listing: 1. Do You Hear What I Hear 2. One More Christmas 3. The Night That He Arrived 4. Heart in the Snow Record label: The Hello Darlins Release date: 6th November 2020 Buy ‘Heart in the Snow’ EP now