Darren Middleton - HOME - Stereo Stickman

Darren Middleton HOME


Free from the confines of expectation or even genre, guided entirely by a heartfelt connection to the therapeutic process of making music – songwriter and artist Darren Middleton’s album HOME makes for a sublime and striking listen; one perfectly-suited to warming up these cold January days.

Beginning with the quickly nostalgic movement from acoustic guitar to a full-throttle arena-rock instrumental, Precious Things intrigues, connects emotionally, and presents a sort of modern-folk to rock songwriter with deeply thoughtful explorations at the heart of his work.

Soon enough, the HOME project delivers a somewhat unexpected experience, making fine use of pop-punk power-chords as much so as cinematic strings, softly expressive vocals, and soaring electric solos.

Acoustic fingerstyle continues with For You, instantly familiar in its intimate story and set-up. The track fits the chemistry of the album, but surprises in its simplicity and calm, its vulnerability – particularly at this early stage. The later sections bring through a superb array of additional voices and details, for a performance that’s deeply moving and near-euphoric at its humble yet mighty peak.

Fire Burns is stunning, perfectly impactful thanks to the rise and fall of the prior two songs, and cleverly combining now-familiar traits of Darren Middleton’s sound; for an almost Jeff Buckley-like sense of delicacy and passion intertwined.

The Stars Where You Dwell is an easy highlight, a pop-rock anthem of heartfelt depths and catchy hooks with harmonies united – a little reminiscent of the Sheryl Crow era but with a near-Gospel outro that beautifully redirects things towards the warmth and identity of Home.

Featuring the additional talents of renowned artists like Suzi Quatro and Suze DeMarchi, HOME is something of an isolated collaboration – an oxymoron in itself, but ultimately a powerful, cleverly-arranged collection.

This juxtaposition continues between tracks, from the distorted rock swagger of a brilliantly atmospheric Tomorrow Doesn’t Know, through the colourful indie-pop stomp of For This, to the stripped-back and captivating Penny. Versatility is wholeheartedly a strength, and HOME utilises it well – whilst maintaining a clear degree of both purpose and skill to connect with and impress audiences across the board.

Download or stream HOME here. Check out Darren Middleton on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Apple Music or visit his Website.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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