EXCLUSIVE VIDEO PREMIERE: Boy Azooga's Dylan Morgan launches DD Darillo
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IN CONVERSATION: DD Darillo & “Time Will Tell” video premiere

DD Darillo headed up by Boy Azooga’s Dylan Morgan provided us with a welcome distraction during November, in the form of debut single ‘Time Will Tell’. Weaving elements of psychedelia, prog and trusty college rock – Dungen and PondSteely Dan and Squeeze in its DNA – we heard ironic musings on the meaning of home.

The song explored the question about what home is, and where; it has a ‘Wherever I Lay My Hat‘ vibe but Cardiff-based Dylan avoids any dreaded sentimentality and instead delicately sketches out a short story with beginning, middle and end.

He wrote it, he says, for himself and out of sense of curiosity of ‘where am I from?’.

‘Aberystwyth was my home or was it Tregaron,’ he sings on it.

‘I get asked where I’m from when they hear my accent, this bizarre middle class English accent. My accent wasn’t affected by my environment but more by my family. When I moved to London (people) would call me all sorts of derogatory Welsh things about sheep and fornication. When I moved there I felt that longing for Wales, home and the countryside and the sticks.

Never enjoying school, it was studying drama away from home bringing him a positive learning experience, which  is a conclusion of sorts for ‘Time Will Tell‘. The structured narrative of the song as it turns out, is no accident, and the inclusion of characters from Arthur Miller’s play A View From A Bridge in the final verse cements that.

Morgan, plus Oliver Beard (Bass, Backing Vocals) John Close (Guitar) and Alex Burch (Drums) make up the DD Darillo four piece.

Oliver was recruited first rather uniquely via a Gumtree advert, John and Alex come from a more technical jazz background, having trained at the Royal College of Music. They work together magically well. Dylan can ‘throw ideas’ at them, and they get what he means.

And he is a man of ideas; to coincide with ‘Time Will Tell’, he put together a ‘how to be DD Darillo’ video. He goes through the plugins he uses, ruminates how much they cost in real life not on a computer.

Proper music nerd stuff, spoof in nature; sort of .

 ‘So many people are precious about how they write songs, how they produce songs and they don’t want to tell you, I thought it’d be a fun thing to do a parody on how the song’s made,’ he says.

It’s such a lonely experience sometimes, writing music and producing it, I’m in this little room and about 15 instruments, guitars and stuff around me and spending hours and hours then staring at this computer screen you get a connection to these plugins. You go on this journey with them a little bit. I realize watching it back I was a little bit too enamoured…but if something’s really cold they can create something warm and beautiful.

One can’t help but approve of the handclaps in ‘Time Will Tell’, despite Dylan claims hand claps in rock music err on the naff side of music.

‘We Will Rock You, stuff like that and I’m always a bit scared to do it on stage…I’ve seen bands do it on stage and there’s no one clapping and it’s even more awkward. The audience making it even more so by just looking at them!’ he laughs. ‘It looks like the band are congratulating them for being there. But it’s so effective from a production perspective.’

DD Darillo this month follow up with new single, ‘Loose Lips Sink Ships‘. Like the debut it’s an absolute bop. Danceability seems to be a vital DD Darillo ingredient?

‘I’m a drummer,’ he replies simply. ‘My dad’s a drummer…’

But on top of that, the thoughtful lyrics this time sail into deeper and darker waters, a contrast with the good times vibe.  There’s a damp, gritty realism in those words, a narrative in both songs released so far, akin to short stories with a beginning, middle and end.

The ‘Loose Lips Sink Ships’ phrase is a throwaway term, something older people muttered during our childhoods perhaps. And yet, Dylan reveals the relevance is more severe than a mere saying to instruct people to keep confidences, its roots in family tragedy during the Second World War.

‘It goes back to the hippy thing,  I was brought up that war was the most heinous thing ever happen, killing other human beings for profit. It was a marketing slogan used during the war to stop people whispering and so unwittingly telling secrets to the enemy.’

We can apply the notion today to fake news used as propaganda on social media and in the real world too; this is never more true than in contemporary times as we attempt to emerge from the pandemic.

‘I wanted to put a spin on it not just being an anti-war song but more to do with speaking out of place. Everybody’s had experiences where they’ve heard something but that story getting completely out of control. I thought, you can say one thing and have beautiful positive meaning at the start and turn into something incredibly negative. And so often that’s how a lot of war starts, people trying to create peace in their lives but it ends up escalating to something wildly negative and dark and horrendous.’

He cites the example of his German grandfather who flew a glider during the war and delivered aid to soldiers shot down in Russia, likening the task to firefighters and ambulances ‘to try and pick up the pieces of politicians’ out of control power.’ After being shot down, his grandfather had to walk hundreds of thousands of miles back home.

When he reached his destination, the story gets bleaker.

‘His brother had died shot in the war, his sister was injured and his father had committed suicide because of the pain of losing the whole family which is so dark. It’s only several generations ago, and they lived such a different life. In my little creative way I thought in some way in my bloodline I’m related to these people who had these crazy life experiences. And they were musicians. It was a painful story when I heard it but I had to do something with it and hence the narrative loose lips sinking ships.’

With references to composer Steve Reich in there, and clever wordplay, and as in Welsh contemporary music tradition, the song is seeped in psychedelia, the origins once again in his and his family’s history.

A lot of artists used to come there into the mountains in West Wales where I’m from. To write music, there are crazy stories of Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, rock icons came and did loads of drugs and hung out with the hippies. That’s where the organic movement started, it was left field types of thinking and a lot of those people ended up becoming parents of friends of mine and family, finding themselves in that era. Velvet Underground came to play my village.’

So far DD Darillo have picked up support from Huw Stephens’ BBC Introducing show, Adam Walton on BBC Radio WalesBuzz MagThe Revue and many more.

Loose Lips, Sink Ships‘ has a tasty b-side remix by Hot Chip’s Rob Smoughton aka Black Peaches, with epic cowbell usage. Lots to look forward to this year, circumstances permitting?

‘I need music and I like to play music loud. Just to be able to get back and be on a stage with other people I love and making music. There doesn’t have to be anyone there, just to play music loud in the same room would be amazing, such a buzz. It’s very easy to forget that’s why we do it, it is one of the great joys of life. It’s magic!’


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.