This week, the 615 takes somewhat of a detour to introduce to you to one of the other styles of music that you can find perfecting their craft in Music City – alternative band Darling Parade. Their new album, "Battle Scars and Broken Hearts," hits stores this week, and according to the band's Nate McCoy, they can't wait for fans to be able to hold the album in their hands.
"We've had these songs ready to go, and I think it's the best stuff we've ever done," he tells Billboard.
Darling Parade – who have released a trio of well-received EP's in the past, came together in Southern Illinois. Lead vocalist Kristin Kearns asked McCoy to play behind her at a local show, and after adding bassist Dustin McCoy and drummer Casey Conrad – the latter through an ad on Craigslist – the band was complete.
How would one describe the group's sound? According to Conrad, there's not one clear-cut definition. "We had a hard time picking what genre we are," he stated. "We even tried to make up a genre because we felt there wasn't one that fit us. We all listen to different styles of music. The three guys listen to hardcore and metal music while Kristin listens to Sheryl Crow and all that, so that all comes across in our music."
The success of their third EP, 2011's "Until We Say It's Over" (a Top-10 entry on the Next Big Sound chart) led to them being invited to tour with Cassadee Pope from "The Voice." After that, the group decided to shift their energies to making a full-length album – enlisting their fans through the Kickstarter program.
Raising $16,000 from their fans, they were able to complete the album. The band's Nate McCoy admits that "It was kind of scary at first, but we were blown away. We weren't expecting to hit our goal, because that is a lot of money from fans. It's a scary thing because we had already started working on the record, and we didn't have the money. Our producer knew we didn't have it at the time. It was scary because we had never tried to ask for money from people that we didn't know. Would we raise $ 300, or hit our goal? We actually went over it, so we were all very appreciative."
Along the way, Darling Parade has also seen their music featured on such television series as "Stargate Universe." Kearns said that was a coup, and made them a hit with their family. "For your parents, they squeal out, run up to you, and hug you real big. They think you're the most famous person ever, and you believe it for a second."
The lead single from "Battle Scars" is "Ghost." In describing the song, Kearns says "For me, it's about having something, losing it, and longing for it. Whether it's a person or something that you had that got ripped away from you basically. I wrote the song as if it was a person I had lost, but I never actually lost any family members."
As far as the future goes, Darling Parade wants to put their music in front of as many people as possible. "We want to tour as much as possible, and get in front of people, and sell the album," said McCoy.
Kearns echoes his thoughts, as her enthusiasm is quite apparent. "We want to be a thriving business. We've spent so much time recording, and we're in the process of ordering merch. I want to get out on the road!"