The latest Those Darlins tour should have been the celebratory launch of the band’s 10th anniversary, but, in light of their “indefinite hiatus/time to move in different directions” announcement last month on Facebook, this circuit will be Those Darlins’ victory lap before dismantling one of the best bands to come out of Nashville, Tenn., in the last quarter century. It’s only fitting that the Garageabilly ruckus Those Darlins kick up on stage has been mirrored in the band’s day-to-day life.
Guitarists Nikki Kvarnes and Jessi Zazu met as bunkmates at the Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp in Tennessee in 2006. Bringing in bassist Kelley Anderson to form Those Darlins, the musicians bonded over a love of American music in all its traditions and eccentricities. The trio dropped its debut single, 2008’s “Wild One,” and created an immediate sensation, leading to Dan Auerbach tapping them for his Keep It Hid solo tour. In 2009, the band released its self-titled debut album, a flawless genre mash-up of Country, Garage Rock and Rockabilly.
Shortly after, utility drummer Linwood Regensburg joined as permanent beatkeeper, leading to the Garage-stained scorch-and-twang of Those Darlins’ sophomore album, Screws Get Loose. In 2012, Anderson left to form Grand Strand and was replaced by Adrian Barrera. The newly formed quartet produced 2013’s incrementally more sedate and diverse (but still fantastic and acclaimed) Blur the Line.
After relentless touring, Those Darlins premiered a new song, “Why Can’t I,” in 2014, leading to speculation about a new album, but it wasn’t to be (the band has recorded a parting tune, a cover of Divine’s title song from the John Waters film Female Trouble). While Kvarnes has hinted to the media that the hiatus could be just that, it seems very likely that the current tour is your last chance to experience the sweet front-of-amp dermabrasion that is Those Darlins at their live and loud best.