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Daren – “Lemon Grove”: My Review

Jorge Sanchez | Posted on March 05, 2019

After a string of singles in 2018, Daren has finally dropped his highly anticipated EP ‘Lemon Grove’

If you have never heard of Daren before, you should change that. It is hard to categorize where his music “fits,” a lot of Daren’s early work has heavy Hip-Hop influences while Lemon Grove perfects a transition to a more indie-pop sound. At only 22 minutes in length, this 7 song EP delivers a solid performance throughout.

Daren – Lemon Grove: Review

This is the project I have been waiting for. I guess that you can say it holds some sentimental value to me. I have been following Daren and is music since his first jump into music back in 2013. In addition, I was a huge fan of his podcast, She Didn’t Text Back, co-hosted with his good friend William Haynes. I am still a little saddened by the podcast’s end in early 2019, but maybe that can be its own blog for the future.

Daren has been experimenting with his music and sound since he has started. Projects like Hold Me to It, My Life Became Beautiful, and Covered in Color all explore different sounds that Daren has been influenced by at the time. He has made some of my favorite music and I could not wait for something new to put my ear to.

I had the pleasure of being sent Daren’s new album a few days before its initial release in February. I was thrilled and honored in the process. Lemon Grove sounds like a project where Daren has truly found his sound.

The EP begins with the track “Highlight Reel,” which offers a solid opener that keeps the listener engaged with a strong chorus and great production. The track introduces the listener to Daren’s ability to create a topic-focused song with a great chorus that keeps you wanting more.

This is followed up by “Tomorrow,” which offers a glimpse of a sound Daren has been trying to perfect over the years. This track offers a different perspective than the opening track and references his own doubts and frustrations with his music and life.

The third track of the EP is “Petty in the Air,” which is a single originally released in 2018. I love this song, it was one of my favorites in 2018. This song has a very catchy chorus that is perfectly paired with an upbeat production. In my opinion, some of Daren’s best lyricism is displayed here.

Next, “Switching Code” immediately begins with a strong trumpet heard throughout the song. This is another introspective song paired up with upbeat instrumentation.

“Count Me Out” features a solid collaboration with Megan Tonjes, who has collaborated with Daren on past projects before. The chemistry heard between the two is organic and they both bounce verses right after each other flawlessly. In addition, Daren’s vocals are an extreme highlight of this track. When I first heard the song I was so proud of the progress he has made.

The sixth track, “Lover,” is a much slower song compared to the rest. This song feels personal, as it touched in the topics of love and missing someone you truly care about. Megan Tonjes is again featured and offers great closing vocals.

The EP ends with the single, “White Lies.” One of Daren’s most popular songs, released in 2018. This is the song that made me very excited about a new project. This song first gave a taste of a new direction he would be headed towards. Now within the context of Lemon Grove, the track offers an upbeat and cohesive piece that touches on all elements of Daren’s music that fans have come to love.

Overall, Lemon Grove is a project that I’m very proud of. Daren has put together a cohesive EP that showcases his vocal and lyrical ability with great production and mixing/mastering. One can only wait until Daren hits the spotlight and gets the proper recognition he deserves. In my own opinion, there are no downsides to this project. Lemon Grove is a very enjoyable listen that I will definitely keep on heavy rotation. Daren has executed a solid project that old and new fans will enjoy with his own sounds and style being showcased.

Rating: 9/10


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