ON RECORD: Those Darlins Lead Singer Dies at 28
Those Darlins lead singer and guitarist Jessi Zazu passed away from cervical cancer this week, at the age of 28. Zazu was one part of the fearsome Nashville-based foursome Those Darlins, who met at the Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp in Murfreesboro, Tenn. In 2006, they began by covering Carter Family songs using traditional southern sounds; washboard, clogs, baritone uke, and more.
Since 2006, when the band formed, Zazu and Those Darlins released three albums: Those Darlins (2009), Screws Get Loose (2011), and Blurred Lines (2013). The band went on hiatus in 2015, performing one final show this spring in Brooklyn.
In my 2015 Creative Loafing review Those Darlins' 2015 afternoon performance at Gasparilla Music Festival I wrote: "Nashville-based foursome Those Darlins took the stage with a deliciously “fuck you,” attitude, sending gnarly guitar riffs shredding across Kiley Garden in a setlist that included cuts off Screws Get Loose and last year’s Blur the Line. This is a band you’ve gotta see live; their albums kill, but the live sound was another animal altogether. The heavy alt-country crunch and doo woop shuffle had bodies slinking and shaking as frontwoman Jessi Zazu — clad in red spanky pants and black tights — drawled lines like “Got a primal urge I'm headed for you.” She owned and I mean OWNED the fucking stage, sometimes peering into the crowd with the wild glare of a feral cat and adding gritty bite to her sweet vocal intones."
Here's my favorite of their tunes, specifically for Zazu's performance. -Arielle Stevenson