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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "All For Nothing" - Darla Jade

One of the most fascinating aspects of retro-pop revival is how classic sounds blend and morph in combination with new ideas. Take the latest single from electro-pop artist, Darla Jade, for example. "All For Nothing" carries the slick pop-funk of 80's-revival. But where those songs seal themselves shut with fervor and flashiness, "All For Nothing" lets light seep through the cracks. It's still club-ready dancepop, but the heat is brought to a simmer. Even the thick bassline—the single's most canny embrace of 80's pop-funk—softens under the fluttering synth pads and gossamer vocal harmonies. The synth drums have the hefty reverb and delay of 80's synthpop, but forgo the same mix-swallowing volume.

The sound, which blurs the edges of retro and contemporary, cleverly reinforces the lyrical expressions. "I've been bending over backwards just to make ends meet / It's the same old cycle still stuck on repeat," she bristles. Jade is trapped between holding this cycle together and desiring to break free. "So I bite my tongue just to keep the peace." The fear of wasted time and energy outweighs the stress of maintaining the endless cycle. "There's nothing that I won't do to keep you," Jade pleads. "I don't want this to be all for nothing." But like the transformations she makes to 80's synthpop, time has inescapably moved forward.

Darla Jade is measuring up to top her exceptional 2022 this year, with more releases and exciting performances. In the span of last year, the upcoming electro-pop force released her sophomore EP, "Only The Paranoid Survive," received top praise and support from BBC Radio 1, performed in multiple well-known shows (such as Independent Venue Week), and won Amazon's "Breakthrough Booth" competition at The Great Escape 2022. In the same year she featured on "Hold Tight" with BLOND:ISH and Nico De Andrea. 2023 has only continued Jade's electro-pop dominance, with more features, singles, shows, etc. In March, she released a live version of her sophomore EP, recorded at Metropolis Studios.

Written By Andy Mockbee

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