Herd Media
Arts and Entertainment

Behind the curtain with Hello Darling

You never know what might come out of Lipscomb’s music ensemble classes. The band Hello Darling just happens to be one of those things. The band was born when a group of five musically talented people wound up thrown together in an ensemble freshmen year and discovered they all shared a passion for good music. That sounds like the start of any band, perhaps, but Hello Darling is being called “unique.”

Herd Media spoke with the two lead singers to find out why.

The band is made up of juniors Patrick Armould and Grace Russell, who share lead vocals, junior Amber Sawyer on bass, senior Riley O’Donnell on drums and senior Noah Haggard on lead guitar. They come from different parts of the country, and have different majors, musical tastes and backgrounds, but they found common ground through Hello Darling.

“We met in the fall of 2020 and by the summer of 2021 we were [already] writing songs for what was to be the first Hello Darling record,” said Armould. “We came from musical backgrounds that were really similar but also super different in a way… that was gonna bring all the good sides out of all the music that we grew up with.”

“My background in music is quite different than Patrick’s, but I really grew up very much into the pop ballad era,” said Russell when asked about what kinds of music she brings to the band. “Like I loved Christina Perry and kind of that whole vein, that was kinda like my first inspiration and loves in music. Then I remember the first Head and Heart record, just like absolutely changed my world and I [realized], that is what I want to do. [There have been] moments like that in music for me, and I wanted to be able [to do that too.] Those moments have definitely helped shape the kind of music that we do.”

“I really loved indie rock when I was in high school, and I still love it now,” Armould smiled. “I was very much called to get into music from the indie folk background. And so that’s a huge part of what I love to, you know, bring into our music.”

When asked about the band’s unique name, Russell and Armould shared a laugh. “We really love the word darling.” Armould said with a grin and a shrug. “We wanted to pick something strong, and we wanted something darling. And I always had this thought in my head that if you could hear David Letterman saying it, introducing a band on the late night show, then it would be a good band name. And so I was driving to work one day and um, and was sitting outside of this vinyl store that I was working at at the time and I was locked out.” Russell laughed as Armould continued the story.

“I texted Grace, like band name ideas and I think Hello Darling was one of them. It’s kind of random, but at the same time we’ve actually kind of grown to love it of,” Armould smiled. “It’s funny cause band names are both easy and not easy to come up with so it’s a funny thing.”

“I think most people try to have this like epic story of how they came up with their band name or they try to make it something that’s incredibly meaningful to them,” Russell picked up where Armould left off. “And I just remember with us, we love the name, but it wasn’t quite like that. Our debut EP was about to come out, and we were like, we don’t have a name. And so we were like, okay, we’ve really just got to find something. And so once he suggested [Hello Darling], I was like, all right, that’s it. We’re running with it.”

Of course nothing is perfect, so naturally there are bound to be struggles within groups of friends as well as bands. But both Armould and Russell said that the good easily outweighed the bad. So much so that it was hard to remember a lot of the bad, they both said.

Russell couldn’t help laughing about it a little. “There’s a lot of moments when you’re like, okay, if you look at this situation on paper, it sounds miserable. Like, we use almost a church passenger van when we go on the road and we’re all shoved in there together. We have all of our gear like packed to the ceiling for these long drives. We’re all in one hotel room. There’s five of us, um, three of which are grown men,” Armould snorted, making Russell laugh again, “and just all these funny situations that we find ourselves in that could be bad on paper, but they’ve turned into some of the most fun times cause I think we’ve done a good job at picking the right people to share those moments with.”

When asked about the joys of being in a band, neither hesitated with their answer.

“Best friends.” Armould said, summing it up in two simple words. Russell elaborated on his answer, noting that not only do they make the best memories together, but she felt at home with her bandmates.

“I just feel like I’ve found like my people, you know?” Russell added. “I think everyone would agree, but it’s just whenever we’re together, it’s just complete comfortability and true companionship. To me, it’s deeper than friendship.”

“We’re all out there fighting for one thing, and we’re doing it as best friends and this family that we’ve built. So we’re very lucky.” Armould smiled, as the two of them spoke of their found family within the band and some of the memories they’d made together.

The group is working on recording a new record, and will be taking to the road a lot more this year. Both Russell and Armould agreed that there was a lot on the horizon to look out for with the band. This upcoming Saturday, the band will perform at the Lipscomb Palooza in Collins alongside other Lipscomb music students and bands.

Both Armould and Russell are excited for the day to arrive, especially with Russell having been a member of the board that created it. “We’re a part of a lineup of the most talented people that we know. It’s gonna be amazing to just have an entire day to watch some of our best friends play,” Armould remarked. “I think I’m also most excited about the fact that Lipscomb is doing it. And I think that this is something in our community that will become traditional, hopefully. Lipscomb is such a great place with so many talented people and it’s just really cool to see it all come to fruition. And I’m excited to see not only this year, but you know, the coming years as to what all happens with this.”

Russell summed it all up well. “Everyone’s been working really hard and is really passionate about this project and this event, and I think the greatest joy is just gonna see everyone get to do their thing that day.”

The doors to Collins will open at 4:30 this Saturday, April 15th, and Hello Darling will be one of many talented performers. Hello Darling will take the stage at 8:30 Saturday night. Tickets are 5$ for Lipscomb students, although 350 free student tickets will be available Friday in the student center. Normal tickets are being sold for fifteen dollars.