11 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the wake of his Mercury Prize–nominated sophomore full-length (2013’s ambitious {Awayland}), Villagers’ Conor O’Brien retired to a coastal farmhouse to write, record, mix, and produce Darling Arithmetic, a collection of folk songs whose warm yet spartan arrangements are as intimate as their lyrics. Above the softly brushed drums, pulsing piano, and fingerpicked guitar of “Dawning on Me,” you can make out every crack and quiver of O’Brien’s voice. On the gorgeous “Hot Scary Summer,” O’Brien tells the story of an ill-fated romance with little else but a light strum and ripples of starlit Mellotron. “We got good at pretending,” he sings. “Then pretending got us good.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the wake of his Mercury Prize–nominated sophomore full-length (2013’s ambitious {Awayland}), Villagers’ Conor O’Brien retired to a coastal farmhouse to write, record, mix, and produce Darling Arithmetic, a collection of folk songs whose warm yet spartan arrangements are as intimate as their lyrics. Above the softly brushed drums, pulsing piano, and fingerpicked guitar of “Dawning on Me,” you can make out every crack and quiver of O’Brien’s voice. On the gorgeous “Hot Scary Summer,” O’Brien tells the story of an ill-fated romance with little else but a light strum and ripples of starlit Mellotron. “We got good at pretending,” he sings. “Then pretending got us good.”

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