SongVault Artist Profile
Chris McKay & The Critical Darlings
Georgia, United States
Pop / Power Pop
Based in Athens, GA, Chris McKay and the Critical Darlings formed in 2004. After spending sometime on the road playing a mix of Chris McKay’s back catalog, and songs co-written with fellow band mate Frank DeFreese they decided to record their debut album C’mon Accept Your Joy. Before the CD’s release, the tracks had found their way onto Chattanooga’s Alternative College Station 91.5 the WAWL, where “Towel Cape Song” made it up to #7 on the charts.
By early 2007, the Critical Darlings had expanded to a quartet with the addition of second guitarist / vocalist Joe Orr and drummer Josh Couillard. The new lineup is currently in pre-production for their sophomore release, tentatively titled Satisfactionista, as well as preparing for a national campaign to promote their debut, which was re-issued by the indie label SideBMusic in May of 2007.
R.E.M. and Drive By Truckers producer David Barbe plans to co-produce the Darlings’ second album. And lined up to contribute a piano track on the album’s centerpiece “Something Unseen” will be Mike Garson, David Bowie’s piano player, whose keyboard work appears on classic Bowie albums such as Aladdin Sane, Pinups, Diamond Dogs and Young Americans. The band will also be one of the first to employ Pete Townshend’s “Lifehouse Method” software on the album. The software produces a unique song based on data input by the songwriter/artist and its users will hold one-third of the copyright.