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Misters Darcy

Recently signed with major indie label Arts & Crafts and eagerly awaiting the release of their second album, King’s alumni The Darcys have come a long way from playing in the Wardroom in exchange for free beer.

Recently signed with major indie label Arts & Crafts and eagerly awaiting the release of their second album, King’s alumni The Darcys have come a long way from playing in the Wardroom in exchange for free beer.
Jason Couse (vocals, guitar, keys) said that King’s was a good starting point. “It’s a warm and encouraging community. We played a lot because of the support. People showed that they were interested in the process.”
It wasn’t until a couple years after graduating that The Darcys recognized the influence of their King’s education on their musical career. At the end of fourth year, their minds were still humming with excess critical energy. With no more papers to write, The Darcys found themselves taking their music more seriously.
Now about to launch on a three-month tour in eastern Canada and the United States, The Darcys feel pressure to meet greater expectations. They thrust this upon themselves.
“We’re definitely CSP students. We’re very self-critical,” Couse said, laughing.
But they are doing well. On Jan. 14, their song Josie from their upcoming album topped the Anti-Hit List, a Toronto Star reporter’s list of alternative music hits. And in February, they’ll open for The Arkells at the Dalhousie Grawood.
At King’s, The Darcys honed their skills. During his first year, Couse pulled some friends together to perform at the talent show Big Night, and it was here that he first shared the stage with bassist Dave Hurlow. The following year, Wes Marskell, Couse’s childhood friend and long-time music collaborator, transferred to King’s from the University of Guelph. Couse and Hurlow were joined by Marskell (drums) and Kirby Best (vocals, guitar), and together they formed The Darcys. This quartet began playing covers in the Wardroom, learning how to set up and tear down and play for an audience. “Those early years were less about a focused artistic release, and more about having fun,” Couse said. And, of course, free beer.
After graduating, the band members returned to their hometown of Toronto, where Mike le Riche joined them on guitar. They began to assemble what would eventually become their first self-titled LP release.
After two years, the band has changed a lot from its inception in Halifax. Besides Best’s departure and Couse’s new role as lead singer, the most notable transformation was the quality of music they were producing. The Darcys re-evaluated their approach to their recording projects and took an attitude informed by the work ethic they had developed at King’s.
“We learned how to focus our energy in a certain way during school, and it was just a matter of applying that,” said Couse.
Their scholarly work ethic has paid off. Though The Darcys’ original aim may have been free beer, they have since realized an accomplished musical career.
“At the end of the day, we all want to do this,” Couse remarks.
Their new album AJA, a reworking of a Steely Dan album, is out Jan. 24.

By David J. Shuman

David is a second-year journalism student at King's, is engagement/news editor of The Watch, and a copy editor of The Pigeon. He writes on student politics, campus happenings, and school news. 

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