Ōtautahi multi-instrumentalist Pickle Darling has announced their signing to the esteemed independent US label, Father/Daughter Records.
It’s just reward for a musician who’s been on the cusp of a big breakthrough for several years now. Following in the grand tradition of Aotearoa lo-fi music makers such as Tall Dwarfs and The Clean, Pickle Darling – the moniker of Lukas Mayo – quietly put out two of the best bedroom-pop releases of the last decade – 2017’s Spring Onion Pancakes and 2019’s Bigness, both on the wonderful Z Tapes.
That was followed by Cosmonaut in 2021 and Pickle Darling’s next release will now come via Father/Daughter Records, which currently boasts stellar artists such as Maria BC, Esther Rose, and Home Is Where on its roster.
For Lukas, it’s a dream come true to sign to such a label. “Super excited to work with Father/Daughter Records, an absolute dream label of mine,” they say.
“I couldn’t believe it when they reached out and still can’t really believe it!! Such a kind and hardworking team, and I can’t really believe I’m part of such a dream roster among some of my favourite songwriters!”
To celebrate their signing, Pickle Darling has released their first single of 2023, “King of Joy”, a song that was among the music they initially worked on following the completion of their last album.
The ponderous downtempo electronica cut showcases Pickle Darling’s perpetual ability to conjure a subtle sense of nostalgia out of nowhere; it’s short – lasting just over one minute – but its sweet effects linger longer.
“After an album that felt quite ambitious and laboured over, it felt refreshing to start making things that felt more immediate,” they explain.
“I started trying to finish songs as quickly as possible, sticking to the core idea that initially grabbed me and being careful not to overwork it or stamp out the initial spark. I had a similar approach with the video for ‘King Of Joy’, I made it when I got COVID so I was just seeing what I could make just in my room in one day when I was losing my mind.”
It’s set to be quite the year for Pickle Darling. Having already supported Fontaines D.C. during their Christchurch show last month, they’ll head to Austin, Texas, in March to perform at the prestigious SXSW 2023.
Pickle Darling’s King of Joy is out now.