ARTIST NAME: Divining Rod
SONG TITLE: Darling Down The Row
ALBUM TITLE: Darling Down The Row
RELEASE DATE: July 27, 2018
Divining Rod – Darling Down the Row
Miyuki Furtado, singer, and songwriter for New York-based duo Divining Rod, is no stranger to the struggle of finding time to write.
After leaving The Rogers Sisters in Norway at the end of a grueling year-long tour, he returned home just before the birth of his daughter. Now, in addition to his new role as a proud dad, Furtado found time to write enough songs for a brand new record.
The new single Darling Down the Road from the band’s forthcoming LP Return to Crystal Cove on Kilipaki Records chronicles a month’s worth of bedside conversation between Furtado and his father, who battled cancer before becoming unresponsive, slipping into a coma, and passing away.
Underneath its energetic exterior, positively vibrating with big beats and evocative, mildly country guitar chording, “Darling Down the Road” is a song about learning and about life. It’s about the realization that, when you pass away, you won’t necessarily see the movie of your life’s significant events play before you like a sepia film reel.
“You remember the small, seemingly insignificant things,” says Furtado, “like the way the sun felt when you were 11 years old at the beach, or someone smoking a cigarette and the memories you conjure up smelling it. You remember the way you feel when someone breathes on your neck or runs their fingers through your hair. It’s those little moments that makeup life.”
An alternate version of ‘Darling Down The Row’ features a live performance of the single that features the live lineup of Divining Rod – Patrick Harmon (Guitar, backing vocals), John Malone (Drums), Mike Malone (Bass), and Eric Kaye (Mandolin). Additional footage in the video was filmed by Furtado’s daughter and her schoolmates of various ages from village elementary and middle schools.
Tell us your history.
I started this project after I left my former band, The Rogers Sisters, and moved out of Brooklyn to the Lower Hudson Valley. It began as a largely acoustic solo project inspired by British folk, country, and country-rock. Eventually, I asked my friend, Patrick Harmon from the psych-pop band, The Party Faithful, to be my bandmate. We have great chemistry and share a love of a lot of the same bands. He’s a great guitarist and singer to boot. We’ve since expanded the band to include the Malone Brothers, John Malone (Drums) & Mike Malone (Bass) of venerable Boston noise-rockers, Dirt Merchants.
Describe yourself as an artist.
We are an American rock group hailing from the Lower Hudson Valley, NY who dabbles in country, soul, and psych-rock. We play loud, sad songs and can carry a tune and make hardened cynics in NYC crack a smile; which is notoriously hard to do.
Tell us the genre of your music.
Tell us the story behind your song.
I was in the middle of writing our full length when I discovered my father was suffering from metastatic sarcoma. I put everything on hold and flew out to care for him. After months of hard fighting, he eventually succumbed to that terrible disease. I wrote Darling Down The Row while he lay resting between times when he was blissfully lucid. We talked a lot about life experiences and it inspired me to write about our discovery: That the seemingly small moments are the ones that have a huge impact on the quality of our lives. Small memories like how good a cool, spring breeze feels on our face or the first time we felt a bee sting, or how good our pillows smell. Darling Down The Row is about the gift my dad gave me.
Tell us the problems you are facing as a musician.
Times are-a-changing, that’s for sure. Although, it’s easier than ever to self-release your music, it’s much harder to actually eke out even the smallest living. There’s an overwhelming amount of music out there. It’s really cool but so very competitive and daunting at times. Plus, the US government has a poor history of supporting artists, writers, and musicians. Often treating them like commodities to buy and sell. It’s hard to support oneself to make records and tour, especially in this political and economic environment. That being said, I think it makes bands in the U.S. much more resilient, imaginative, and creative.
Discuss the recording and production of the song.
After my father passed, it inspired me to commit to recording all the songs that I had collected over the past year or two. 12 of them formed our upcoming full-length, ‘Return To Crystal Cove’. We worked with the incredibly talented Brian Forbes at Alternate Dimension Studios (an old Hip Hop and R&B recording studio in Long Island) and The Gallery in the McKibbin Lofts. He was amazing to work with. We recorded at a furiously fast pace, recording most of the basic tracks in a day. I played all the drums and bass parts. Then Patrick and I recorded guitar tracks and vocals. It was an exhilarating, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants experience made even better by Brian’s meticulous attention to detail.
List the names of blogs, radio, or television stations that have supported you so far.
WXRY 99.3 FM
The Peak FM
County Barnyard 305 Radio
We Don’t Even Know Podcast
Music Of Mind Control
Leesta Vall Records
The Ark Of Music
JP’s Music Blog
Indie Band Guru
Middle Tennessee Music
The Hudson Independent
Brief us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.
I write songs from life. Whether it’s my own experiences or other people I meet. New York is great for that because there is such an enormously dense cross-section of people with so many different lives to draw inspiration from. I also write about stories I read in the news. As a result, some songs tend to be hugely downbeat. A friend once said that I write songs about good people doing bad things.
Brief us the top-secret behind making a hit song.
Listen to EVERYTHING out there. Learn from it and work on your craft. Most importantly, commit and sing with emotion.
On a side note, check out this amazing book by members of the KLF who actually set out to write a pop hit and succeeded! They had a hit in the 80s called ‘Doctorin’ The Tardis’ and wrote an amazing book detailing how they did it. Rumor has it that they burned all the money they made from it because the whole thing was an art project. They made the book free to read here: LINK
Tell the advice you will give to an upcoming artist.
Try to grow a little every day. Pay attention to the smallest details in life. Oh yeah, go outside, run around and get some sun every once in a while. Lastly, don’t be a jerk to people.
Discuss at length your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition, or awards you might have received.
I was in 2 touring bands, The Rogers Sisters and Midnight Masses that recorded for Beggars Group, Too Pure, Troubleman Unlimited, Rough Trade Records, and Team Love. Both groups were fortunate enough to release many records, singles, and compilations and tour around the world several times. The Rogers Sisters recorded a Peel Session and played live on BBC several times. Rogers Sisters also played Reading, O2, Pukkelpop, and HD songs featured on television shows, The OC and The L Word.
Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.
I sometimes labor over songs and lyrics but my favorite songs are ones that come fully realized. Either from lucid dreaming or floating around in my head when I wake up from a deep sleep. That seldom happens but when it does, it’s truly astounding and invigorating. In the studio, I play most of the instruments: drums, guitar, bass, percussion, and keyboards. I’ve taken great pains in working on my singing. Learning how to breathe and project.
Name your favorite artists for collaboration.
I would love to work with Beyonce, Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Johnny Marr, Willie Nelson, Richard Thompson, Vetiver, Sylvan Esso, Wye Oak, Field Music, Bob Mould, Andrew Bird, Anderson PAAK, Robert Plant, and Cher just to name a few.
Share your press release and reviews with us.
Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.
After taking care of my family and friends, I’d blow it all on a few records and some guitars. A million dollars won’t get you too far these days.
Discuss music promotion and how you are boosting your fan base.
I work with a small, independent PR group that understands where I come from and where I want to go. I talk to fans the same way most folks do: through social media on the internet. Modern times, y’all.
Tell us how you manage other activities with your music career.
Sacrificing sleep and sanity at times seems a given. Mostly it’s through the support of my loved ones and friends.
State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
Divining Rod. It’s a divine instrument used to find water. Also known as a Dowsing Rod. I liked the possibility that it could either be a mystical artifact or total BS.
State the title of the song and the meaning.
Darling Down The Row. It means looking towards the future. It is also my hope that I will see my father again in the next life.
State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.
Return To Crystal Cove. I just dreamed up the title about a year back. It represents being in a safe place away from the world’s troubles yet being able to observe everything that happens. I guess it’s also sort of a play on the movie ‘Escape From Witch Mountain.’ The funny thing is I was reminded recently that I have actually been to a place called Crystal Cove near Laguna Beach, California! I had totally forgotten that I went to a wedding there years ago! Life is a funny ol’ thing.