Darling West is a song and a band. The song came first, composed in a cabin in the mountains of Ål, where most of the group’s early writing took place. The band was formed when Mr. Tor Egil Kreken (vocals, banjo, guitar) and Mrs. Mari Sandvær Kreken (vocals, guitar, mandolin, mountain dulcimer, auto harp, harmonica) decided that the best way to get to spend some quality time together, was to create a common band project. They asked musical soul mate and guitar player extraordinaire Kjetil Steensnæs to join them, and Darling West, the band, was complete.
In 2014 the group released their first album, Winter Passing, which was nominated for “Country Album of the Year” at the Spellemannpris (Norwegian Grammy Awards). Now they’re done recording their sophomore album, and released the first single, “Vinyl and a Heartache” in January 2016. Where Winter Passing had a very distinct acoustic, live and old-timey feeling, the new album is also inspired by country and the singer-songwriter tradition, and includes several tracks with drums and electric instruments.
When asked to name musicians they’re inspired by, the band cites legends such as Dock Boggs, Doc Watson, John Prine and Townes Van Zandt, but also current artists Gillian Welch/Dave Rawlings Machine, Kasey Musgraves and Jason Isbell.