Portland’s Darwish began composing the music of the group’s debut, The Clear Blue Pearl, during a month-long residence at Caldera in Sisters, Oregon. The work tells the story of a family in danger of losing their farm to drought who goes searching for an underground aquifer — the “Clear Blue Pearl” of the title. Darwish enlisted sister duo Shook Twins to sing the close harmonies in the music and started the band Morning Ritual.
The album features widely varied styles from jazz to R&B to the gorgeous chamber folk opening song “The Drought,” which echoes Aaron Copland in its use of octaves and in the way it evokes the open space of the American plains.
(Note: You can listen to the interview on opbmusic in the audio section and download an mp3 of “So Cold.”)