D’Arcy teaches “The Art Of Flying” in an extraordinary debut Album

D’arcy is scary good. Her music is extremely neat and tidy from a production standpoint. Creatively, she seems a lot like Lorde – not that the two sound anything alike (they don’t), but they both seem entirely focused on doing their own thing and sounding exactly like a problem for music critics and historians keen on labels that are ultimately insufficient or meaningless.


Though she remains relatively undiscovered by a wider audience, I think that that is certainly about to change with the release of this titanic album. D’Arcy is an incredibly prolific recording artist who debuted her first EP just last year, and every time she releases something, there’s a neverending stream of well-deserved admiration from the press; this review will not be the exception to that.

Again, there’s no real point trying to describe what D’Arcy sounds like with a couple of genres because that’s nowhere near the whole picture, and with her newest album “The Art Of Flying” we see a progressive journey from synth ambient to dark electronica and then alt-rock in one seamless motion. She’s truly a futuristic multi-tone Goth prodigy, a disarming weirdo with an angelic aura. She’s one of the *few* to land on their feet- if you get the reference.

We’ll be taking on D’Arcy’s “The Art Of Flying” today, which in her own words is:

“The Art of Flying encapsulates a journey of love, loss, and rebirth. The album contains an amalgamation of sounds, some electronic and some acoustic. Some of the songs were recorded in a hotel room in the middle of the tour at 3 am, some were recorded in a studio; some of the songs I wrote years ago, and some are recent.  Ultimately, The Art of Flying is about learning to overcome struggle by making the choice to find beauty in pain. I hope it resonates.”

Fear Of God 

Literally sending chills down my spine. “Fear of God” hit me like a cinematic slow-motion artillery barrage. it completely blew me away right out of the gate and it made me realize I was going to absolutely love this album no matter what.  It is dark and foreboding but in the most absolutely beautiful way possible. as gracefully inches ever closer to its heavy instrumental climax, the song lurks in an oppressive, chilling state to build up to an emotional release that I think mirrors what the rest of the album ends up being.


In the continued darkness of her misty eyrie, D’Arcy walks on glass for her lover. The droning synths and distorted vocals hint at a personal dissolution both physical and mental for the sake of the titular lover for whom no sacrifice is great enough. This track leans heavily on electronic production techniques as the very instruments to accompany D’Arcy’s almost monotone and deadpan delivery of her harrowing message.


The mystery factor seems to increase tenfold. There’s complexity in the minimalism of the album’s production and presentation so far- A method to the madness even…

“Crazy” gets a bit closer to the dark, baroque pop elements of D’Arcy’s sound with a stronger focus on a rhythmic pattern, one that hints at a ghostly clock, counting down the hours towards nothingness.  It is by now that I was able to feel a running theme of romantic obsession, an unnerving fixation and seeming worship of the other, represented by the damp, melancholic and dungeon-like sonic atmosphere. “Crazy” however is not all that entirely devoid of light- there’s a melodic spark that comes from fae-like chimes throughout the duration of the track that evokes a sense of wistful innocence, one that I feel is very much removed from the unnerving qualities we’ve heard up until their introduction.


If crazy was the fall into an Alice-in-Wonderland hole in the mind, then the first few minutes of “Fantasy” are like the very early waking moments of a colourful new inner world on the other side of insanity. “Fantasy” starts out with a hypnagogic “once upon a time”, an electronic world-building technique with a very slow and methodical crescendo into an almost cyberpunk introduction to the second act of this entire play. Everything else has just been our introduction, now’s when the real show starts


By now D’Arcy has shown herself to be an extremely intelligent musician. Everything up to this point has been a substance-free exercise in inducing altered states. If you feel like you’re going in deep into your subconscious, that is because the hypnosis has worked, and D’Arcy has been emulating a deep dive, (or a slow fall, some may say) into our own minds.  

Delirium seems to start with a reversed and distorted audio clip from “Fantasy”, but it starts to morph into a recognizable shape little by little. First a fairy-tale flute and then a distorted guitar riff, and the prog-rock influences become manifest more and more in what is likely one of the best tracks of the entire album. The entire experience is chilling, reminiscent of Something like Mastodon meets Bjork Meets Pink Floyd. There’s very little -or nothing- quite like this out there, and you’ll be thankful as I was that you discovered this album today with us.


For a track named as such, Anxiety knows how to take its time and work with very little to achieve much. I expected something more intense or frantic, it is however a very calm and introspective song where the leading instrument is D’Arcy’s own voice creatively tuned and pitched to give colour to the long bridge between Delirium and…


halfway a harrowing dark pop ballad and a cyberpunk space-Blues song with militaristic snares. “Ecstasy” is one of the most outright sensual songs in the album, with its lyrics regarding the distinction (or lack thereof) between pleasure and pain- The concept of Ecstasy isn’t necessarily of a sexual nature, as one might think, but it is derived from a peculiar experience where D’Arcy found herself stuck in a party where she pondered what everyone there was in it for the escapism or not, and if so, what exactly where they escaping? 

Something Beautiful

No sarcasm or cynicism or anything like that. Roughly halfway through the art of flying, we come to a place where the flames are Something Beautiful no one can take away. This is a truly beautiful alt-rock ballad, and from here on out we’ll encounter some more “orthodox” instrumentalization as if we were climbing out of the darkness and into the summit where we’ll finally take flight. 

The song takes the classic combination of Piano, Bass, and guitar all the way home. The hook really makes this song a missed opportunity to release as a promotional single, perhaps it does not sound quite like the rest of the album, but this song certainly deserves the spotlight. 


360 is a song about longing and distance, and in In story terms, 360 feels like the tragedy that is about to close the 2nd act of this play is coming on. “360” is a slightly more stripped-down ballad when compared to “Something Beautiful”, and while there was a flicker of happiness and hope in that son, 360 is quite a bit more melancholic. 

The Best of me. 

The album is called The art of Flying, and near the end of the song, the piano feels like the slow and stirring moment where glowing white wings are unfurled much in spite of the oppressive darkness.  At the same time, “The Best of Me” also feels like it’s deeper into the plot point of “360”,  something that must have been a happy coincidence when it was time to find its proper place in the album, this is because this song wasn’t written in the traditional sense, it was dreamed up by D’Arcy one night.

Every day

This song is close in tone and style to “something beautiful” but it holds a different kind of sweetness. It is a slow and mellow alt-rock ballad guided along by the cool reverb in D’Arcy’s nostalgic vocals. The song is -I believe- about living with emotional pain every day of your life. The pain may not go away, but there’s a sense of gratitude to the song, like what caused this pain in the first place was so beautiful it was worth it even as it gets less and less bearable. 

In a fun, yet surely unintentional turn of events, the previous song “The Best Of Me”, prominently features a piano as the main instrument, with the segment at the very beginning being very reminiscent of Carly Commando’s own “Everyday” song – None of these tracks are related in any way, as far as I know, but the coincidence still stands as a quirky little fact I felt compelled to bring up.


A far more hypnagogic composition than most before it, “Moon” is cacophonic and harsh, its delightful melody is just barely hidden underneath the distorted synth/guitar- the vocals soar well above the mild chaos of the instruments, like the moon itself over troubled waters. This uplifting, heavenly feeling is carried over onto the emotive lullaby-like hook. The song is truly one of the highest points in the entire album, and though we’re each welcome to project our own interpretation into the lyrics, I think that the dreamy and romantic intonation suggests something akin to a cycle being put to rest.


A few seconds into “Cowboy” it suddenly became very important for me to point out how incredibly well-mixed this album is. Even when it comes to droning synths and distorted guitars, regardless of if I’m listening through speakers or headphones, everything is supremely crisp and clear- The bass in particular is always so powerful and *phat*, its presence is absolute, yet it never goes over its proper range, it never obscures anything and it never overwhelms any of the tracks.

There are little idiosyncracies and details to the sound of an acoustic guitar that come up to the surface a lot in “Cowboy” and even besides that immense Bass sound, they are never bothered or drowned by it. I think this may be -from a production and sound mixing perspective alone- the most impressive track by far.

In many ways, with its buoyance and uplifting melody, Cowboy feels like the ending of “Art Of Flying”. the last chapter of the 3rd act.

Follow me

If Cowboy finalized the story, for now, the two last songs would act as an epilogue. “There’s A Long Road Ahead and I’m lost In my Bed” sings D’arcy, fully aware that this is only just one cycle in the full saga ahead of her. however, Things start diving from there, as she begins observing the mess of life around her -she’s living on cigarettes and coffee, like Ottis Redding and Iggy pop and Sheryl crow and many others before her. 

“Follow me” isn’t all doom and gloom, and as it befits D’arcy, the song slowly builds up to a liberating crescendo where all instruments together to bring a stroke of colours to the dark palette she begins painting with – a recurring theme of this album as far as I can tell.

The Art of Flying – Final song and final thoughts for the overarching themes of the album.

With very relatively little left to say, “The Art Of Flying” does an unexpected 180 turn on what the album began building up to since “delirium” by going back to the mournful and cold synth droning and vocoder-like vocal dressing found at the beginning. But don’t be fooled by this change, this is *not* a return to a depressive episode following the “manic” heights of the last few tracks, allow me to elaborate:

The way I see it, the first few tracks represent a very low point in this narrative, they’re cold and dour because they seem to come from painful memories of better days gone by, if D’arcy’s vocals come through robotic and monotone in these songs, that’s surely by design because here we are hearing a soul in pain, either numb and cold -like a computer- or acting almost like an automaton incapable of processing the trauma they’ve just been through.

As the album progresses, the warmth of the other instruments begins to seep through the cracks in this digital armour, such as when “Delirium” comes on and the guitar manifests a new emotional intensity; some of these songs are more painful from a lyrical standpoint, often dwelling in some sort of regret or longing, but that same warmth does more than hint at a process of acceptance and growth, of acknowledging the depth of the emotional injury and letting go of any rigidity and heaviness- Sometimes letting ourselves suffer openly is part of the healing process.

When the album comes back to the use of synths with the final song, it’s not like it’s falling into defeat, surrendering to the numbness, instead, it feels like it’s centring itself again on the difficult reality down below at the starting point, with no histrionics or motivational talks, just a clear message of Hope:

 “You have so much love to give/ just slow down, listen to my voice/ One day you will fly” – D’Arcy


Photography by Alexandra Mishaan