The four members of Darlingside close up looking into the camera.


Hailing from Boston, MA, Darlingside is a four-piece indie-folk band best known for their soaring harmonies and thoughtful lyrics. With the imminent release of their latest album, Everything Is Alive, we spoke with one-quarter of the band, Auyon Mukharji about all things music, Boston, and coffee.

Hey Darlingside, thanks for taking the time to chat! I’d usually start by asking you to introduce yourselves but everyone will know you. So, tell me something about you that I won’t know.

Hello! Thanks so much for the interview. This is Auyon, and I play mandolin and violin within the group. Something I don’t think you know is that we have a highly progressive paternity leave policy, wherein if anyone in the band has a child, the whole band takes a break! We’re currently rounding out one such group-paternity leave, and we’re excited to get back into playing and touring soon.

That is progressive! So now you’re back, what can you tell me about your new album, Everything Is Alive?

We can’t wait to put the thing out on July 28! Everything Is Alive is a big departure for us, in that we made a conscious choice to highlight individual voices rather than drape everything in harmony as is our wont. That choice also reflects the way we wrote the album, which involved each member stewarding a crew of three songs instead of everyone working collaboratively on everything, as we have in the past. 

You released a couple of teaser tracks, what can you tell me about ‘Right Friend’?

‘Right Friend’ was one of the tunes I stewarded. It began as the decoding of a beautiful-but-rambling memo of Harris’ from a rehearsal, wherein Harris had smashed together lyrics from Don and a melody from Dave. I kept the chorus lyrics as Harris had them, and then adjusted the verses to set them in New England, where I’ve just begun to enjoy the winters, mostly because I recently learned how to ice skate. 

The song deals with memory and questions of what is real and what isn’t, in this case as they pertain to the death of a friend. The unusual cadence and repetition within the chorus make it feel almost like an incantation, willing the return of someone who can no longer come back.

And what song that you haven’t released yet are you most excited for people to hear?

I’d vote for ‘Lose The Keys’, the second track on the album—it’s been one of my favourites to play live.

You released your last album in the middle of the pandemic, what are you most excited about doing this time out that you missed out on in 2020?

Getting to tour the new music! One of the great perks of an album release, and one that we missed out on back in the fall of 2020.

Which was the final song you chose to put onto the album?

For this album, we started with a slew of half-finished songs that were the product of several months of individual and collaborative writing. Our manager helped us set up a blind vote for which songs we wanted to see through, and it worked out that these 12 songs rose to the top with almost no discussion. The collection felt strangely predetermined, and there was no final song we chose—they all landed together.

What was the best thing about the experience of recording Everything Is Alive?

I really enjoyed our collaboration with Tucker Martine out in Portland, OR. He’s a wonderful person, a thoughtful mixing engineer, and a total pleasure to work with.

Your website “about us” page describes the new album as “highlights the individuality of the four songwriters in a way that adds a fitting element of reinvention to an album that captures brilliantly the quality of the moment in which it was made” – can you expand on that and talk about how the four of you went about writing the songs and pulling them together for the album?

Sure! As I mentioned a few questions back, we approached these songs a bit differently (and less collaboratively) than the songs on our previous few albums. Freeing ourselves of the intense collaborative process that has defined our previous music-making, by encouraging more individual ownership, was both anxiety-inducing and exhilarating. It also allowed more quirks and idiosyncrasies to remain baked into the songs, which I love.

What’s the rest of 2023 look like for you?

Touring this album. We’ll be zipping across the US for most of the fall. I’m especially excited to get back to my hometown of Kansas City in September.

Your US tour has some terrific supporting acts, I particularly love Caitlin Canty; how did she get onto the line-up?

We’re psyched about the support acts too! Caitlin is one of our oldest and dearest musical friends—we met her back at college, and many of us heard her play before we even met each other! We remain big fans.

I love the write-ups of each of you on your website, very positive and fun, but what’s the worst tour habit? 

I used to get in trouble for eating smelly things (tinned fish, fermented vegetables, other delicious things) in common spaces like vans and green rooms, but have since stopped. I’m now not sure what my worst touring habit is, and I’m worried about the fact that I don’t know. Among the band more generally, caffeine addiction.

What’s your favourite song from another artist?

I’m currently really enjoying Sean Rowe and Taylor Ashton’s cover of Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings’ ‘Look at Miss Ohio’.

According to Wikipedia (I know I shouldn’t trust it) you’re from Boston, a city that I love, tell me the best things about the town. Best place to get a drink? Best place for lunch? What’s the most fun you can have there?

My favourite place for a drink in the greater Boston area is the Baldwin Bar in Woburn. Best places for lunch are Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Somerville, Sofra in Cambridge, and Taqueria El Amigo in Waltham. One of my favourite things to do in town is roam around the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, where most of the trees are labelled by species, and where there are some truly fabulous gravestones. I realize that none of these things are technically in Boston, but they’re all close!

What’s the best bit of merchandise you have available?

Our coffee package: Darlingside-branded instant coffee (high-quality stuff made by our friends at Vivid Coffee Roasters in Vermont) along with an album-themed mug!

Finally, you can ask me any question you like, what is it?

I’d love to know your least favourite interviewee, band or individual.

Ha, that’s a tough question. Not in the answer but in whether to out the person… I will. Ashley Campbell. Maybe she was having a bad day but it was tricky one; very short answers and the feeling of her wanting be doing anything else with her life than be talking to me.

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.