The Darcys challenge themselves with a pop rebrand on Centerfold

The Toronto duo grow from their indie-rock roots and hope to strike success with a big pop rebrand
Toronto duo The Darcys took themselves out of their indie-rock comfort zones by writing straight-up pop songs on their new album, Ceterfold. (Cathy Irving/CBC)

If you've been a longtime fan of Toronto band The Darcys, their new album Centerfold (out today) may sound a little different to you.

Gone are the guitar-rooted rock songs and in its place are pure pop melodies glossed over my bright, neon-lit layers of synths. It's a decision that member Wes Marskell detailed in a 2014 article titled, "Post-Warring: What Our Band Must Sacrifice to Survive.

"Where people maybe misconstrued the article or thought we were selling out or making the worst songs possible just to make some money, that was not at all the case," Marskell clarifies. 

The Darcys performed and chatted with q host Tom Power inside the new q studios in Toronto, Ont. (Cathy Irving/CBC)

What Marskell was trying to explain was the frustration of being on the "cusp of having a career" and the realization that, in order for him and bandmate Jason Couse to make a living as musicians, there needed to be a commercial component to their music. 

While online praise can lend the band a lot of credibility, that doesn't necessarily translate to financial success. So, Marskell and Couse veered into the world of pop music for a true challenge.

"That's something we wrestled with, in writing all of these songs," Marskell continued. "Is to try to be true to ourselves and write songs that we really loved that also had this pop tint or commercial lean that would help us reach a greater audience." 

And since those ambitions were laid out in Marskell's article, they had no choice but to follow through. 

"We've always had this hyper-perfectionist attitude where whatever we decided we were doing, we want to do it way, way beyond what we can expect of ourselves," Couse adds. "And moving into a different area and process took some learning but there was no turning back." 

The Darcys are on tour across Canada right now, check out the full list of tour dates here