Darro Chea is a rock artist and producer from York, Pennsylvania. Influenced by artists such as Fall Out Boy, Story of the Year, Dream Theater and Dance Gavin Dance to Steve Vai, Guthrie Govan and Marco Sfogli, Darro has been making music for over 10 years. At 19, he decided to go to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and after completing his dual Bachelor’s in Guitar Performance and Music Production & Engineering, he continued his education by attending Graduate School at Berklee Valencia to pursue his Master’s of Music degree. From forming the rock band, ‘Islands Apart’ to writing solo music, Darro has performed and worked with a variety of musicians such as Al Joseph, Gary Willis, Big Freedia, Daniel Yoong, KadyRoxz, and many others. At the time of writing Darro is in the process of releasing his debut solo EP entitled “Nostalgia”.
“I Remember” is a shrewd choice of opener. Its familiar blend of soulful vocals and full harmonies, ever-changing rhythms and smart lyrics which will have your feet tapping from the moment the beat drops in. “Before The Fall” provides an entrancing juxtaposition of decidedly dark romantic lyrical matter delivered via a joyous vocal melody and crunchy guitar riffs.
“So Much More” relies on lusciously strummed acoustic guitars and Darro’s blue-eyed vocals which is one the song’s greatest assets, and its work is the focal point of the song here.
A true one-man show, Darro’s lyrics remain as intelligent as his instrumental contributions are essential elements of nearly every song. Darro’s inventive and melodic guitar work can be fully appreciated on “What I’ll Be”, where his vocals are once again exemplary here.
Things even get more interesting on “Face The Truth” (ft. Kaya) as Darro launches the song with some refined and complex rhythm guitar work, and ends up in an enchanting duet. All throughout, “Nostalgia” is a fine modern alternative rock record, the songs are catchy, they lyrics can be smart and the energy is very evident.
Over and above the alt-rock and emo influences, Darro has also infused these songs with just enough pop sensibility to keep your ears glued to the speakers. The sound quality is phenomenal. I was extremely impressed. I was also particularly enchanted with the crystal clear sounds of the guitars in all of the songs.
Most of the songs at their cores have proficient rhythm work, technical at times but never gratuitous, always leaving a nice beat to accompany the melodic vocals. The songs integrates these nicely, right from the start, but Darro’s major strengths come from pouring on layers of vocals and guitars stuck together in a sonic jigsaw puzzle that is really hard to resist.
Darro just lets loose with everything, and fuses many areas of music that moves from pop-punk to outright alternative rock soundscapes.