Artist spotlight: Lottie Darger performs ‘delightfully tragic’ songs at Canyon Media

John Houston, Lottie Darger and Michael Evenson of "Lottie & the Void" perform at Canyon Media, St. George, Utah, April 12, 2019 | Photo by Aaron Crane, St. George News

FEATURE — Born and raised in Hurricane, singer-songwriter Lottie Darger has been writing music to express “the good, the bad and the ugly” since the age of 15.

“I feel like it is an extension of myself,” Darger said of her music. 

While passionate about her sound, she didn’t set out to become a musician. The ability to write songs, however, was almost effortless. Without the aid of formal lessons, Darger taught herself to sing, write and play several instruments.

Pinpointing a specific genre for her music was difficult, she said. Some listeners have told her that certain songs have a similar style to Fleetwood Mac, others to Pink Floyd and some of them The Beatles.

“When I listen to ’60s, ’70s stations, you could slip my song in there and aside from it not being a classic, it would vibe,” Darger said. “So when people ask me what genre do I play, I say it’s like ’60s rock or folk rock.”

The combination of ’60s and folk rock sounds in Darger’s music is accompanied by her “husky, old timey” voice, singing style and emotional lyrics.

Her band, comprised of Michael Evenson, John Houston, Dutch Workman and Braydon Buell, is currently working on their second album, “Delightfully Tragic,” which is set to be released sometime this year. The album will include three cover songs and 10 originals under a brand new name, “Lottie & the Void.” According to Darger, many of the songs she’s written for her second album can stand alone, and each has a different kind of musical feel. 

Darger begins her compositional process by writing lyrics based on inspiration from real life events. After writing the song, she works to find a melody to accompany the emotions found in the lyrics. Many songs come from her own experiences but some of them are written about people to whom she’s close.

I want to show people themselves by being so authentically myself. Show them, this is me, the good, the bad, the ugly, so let’s help you find you and acknowledge all those parts,” Darger said

Darger released her first album, “Life in the Desert,” in 2016 under the band name LOTTiE, which included 12 original songs.

“I decided to change the name of the band to ‘Lottie and the Void’ because once I realized that I was not within a void, but there was a void within me, then it made it a little easier for me to acknowledge it,” Darger said.

The name is also tied to Darger’s other work in poetry and visual art, including drawings and paintings. Expounding on her other creative ventures, Darger describes her other art as “yucky looking,” and “not traditionally beautiful.”

“I feel these feelings, and this is how they manifest for me, is in music, and art, and whatever that ends up being that day,” Darger said. “And so for ‘Lottie and the Void,’ it’s like this is what me and my void have created for you all to enjoy.”

Lottie Darger, the fronted artist for “Lottie and the Void,” performing at Canyon Media, St. George, Utah, April 12, 2019 | Photo by Aaron Crane, St. George News

Darger first began performing when her fellow band member Michael Evenson, who was her teacher at Hurricane High School at the time, heard her sing and suggested they play a couple of cover songs together since he was learning to play guitar.

“I said, ‘Pick a song that you know and make sure the cords are easy.’ And I got my guitar, and I started to play, and when she started to sing, I’m like, ‘wow,’ and from there she just keeps writing songs all the time,” Evenson said.

The pair played in a couple of talent shows before she showed him some of the songs that she had written, before deciding to produce their songs at Houston’s recording studio.

When Houston heard Darger sing, he decided that he too wanted to be a part of the band in addition to producing the music.

All of their songs are digitally recorded, but the band uses older analog instruments, most of them made before the 1970s.

“It’s really a little more raw. It’s refined, but not overly refined, or overly processed, so it has a really wonderful sound,” Evenson said.

In addition to producing albums with the entire band, Darger, Evenson and sometimes Houston, currently perform at local concerts and venues. More information about upcoming shows and events can be found on the band’s Facebook page.

Email: mshoup@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @MikaylaShoup

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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