If Darlingside’s first album, Birds Say (2015), focused on the past through nostalgia and memory, and their second, Extralife (2018), contemplated uncertain futures, Fish Pond Fish (2020) stands firmly in the present, taking stock of what’s here and now.
Fish Pond Fish is one of geology, meteorology, ornithology, astronomy and botany. Band members Dave Senft (vocals, bass), Don Mitchell (vocals, guitar, banjo), Auyon Mukharji (vocals, violin, mandolin), and Harris Paseltiner (vocals, cello, guitar) have created a natural history in song. An album that catalogues the weird nooks of our world with the same curiosity of a botanist’s time-worn field journal. We’re led through old growth forests, down to the deep sea’s ‘true blue bottom where the light ends,’ and up to a few singled-out stars that shine ‘ochre’ overhead.