WORDS BY ISABELLA ROSS
Didirri’s Sophomore EP Sold For Sale is out in full form Friday September 25th. This seven track body of work has been released in instalments from August, combining a few earlier releases with new songs building to the grand finale- the finished product.
Born and raised in regional Victoria, Didirri has not backed away from his candid storytelling process even when it has become difficult. Since establishing himself with poetic lyricism, Didirri has been compared to the likes of Harry Styles, Clairo, Maggie Rogers, and Dermot Kennedy. His soul filled vocals and gentle melodies will wrap you up in a warm embrace lifting you out of the winter months. This EP is a truly international effort, recorded across Johanna on Victoria’s South-West coast, in LA’s Sunset Sound studio and a sprinkling of other locations across international lockdowns during 2020. Understand that when you press play on Sold, For Sale you are pressing play to a hand crafted, delicate, and somber introspective journey.
The title track Sold For Sale starts with the contrasting electric intro and acoustic melody, slowly building a dreamy atmosphere. The dreamy electric guitar is woven throughout the EP, adding a layer to Didirri’s signature atmospheric sound. The lyrics “there’s fires down in paradise” are poignant brining a meditative tone to not only this song but the complete work. This track was written in the shadows of California’s wildfires and recorded during Melbourne’s COVID lockdown. Learning to navigate recording and producing remotely challenged Didirri in new ways placing the cherry on top of his EP. Sold, For Sale oozes reflection, of place, belonging, and a sense of home that has been turned inside out in the process of breathing this song to life.
The Critic builds slowly to reflect on a failed relationship. This track is reminiscent of Hozier with beautiful atmospheric production elements. Without listening to the lyrics this track is quite upbeat with a slow rock feel and catchy hook. Didirri has juxtaposed dark lyrics with a flirty sound suggesting to his audience that we can appreciate beautiful things for simply being beautiful without looking under the surface.
From here we are introduced to Loose Belt Drive which in his own words is an “exploration of being worn out, influenced by the largeness of both the music industry and the church”. The lyrics of this track contrast the desire for money and the desire to do something meaningful, an internal battle felt widely across the globe. Loose Belt Drive was written in West Hollywood with Jon Hume, these lyrics are even more piercing in the current climate. Feelings of exhaustion are abundant, with many of us wondering if what we are doing is really contributing to the greater good. The slow harmonic strings build tension behind Didirri’s vocals creating a dreamy soundscape to ponder our place as a “cog in a much larger machine”.
Blue Mood Rising is the most energetic song on the EP. The simple lyricism gives room for the bluesy elements to shine. His snarling vocals and vibrant percussion bring a powerful grit to this song. Sonically reminiscent of Tom Petty’s Learning to Fly, Blue Mood Rising belongs on a homecoming soundtrack. Since its initial release in 2019 Blue Mood has acquired over 1 million streams on Spotify cementing Didirri in our minds as someone to keep an eye on. His louder vocals welcome us into the conversation, as if he is extending a hand in invitation to join his journey of introspection.
Keeping us in our feels, the next track Raw Stuff is a moody piano ballad. Originally released in January of this year, Raw Stuff has been well received as a follow up to the previous track. Raw Stuff was written at a friend’s house in Johanna a place for “rejuvenation and creative inspiration”. This track reflects the wild ocean and delicate emotions being swept up in a storm. The lyrics muse on a lost love with whoever Rachel may be, learning to let go of what once was. This slow piano and strings melt into the movement of this piece giving us time to reflect on the Raw Stuff in life. The music video has it’s own story filmed at the same location this song was written and recorded, it was then edited whilst Australia was on fire. This EP is full of raw emotions, countries on fire, and climates in crisis backgrounding our personal struggles through the day to day.
Don’t fight with what you are fighting for picks up the tempo from where Raw Stuff left off. The instrumentation is smooth, oozing like honey in your morning cup of tea. “Don’t go losing hope” are beautiful lyrics on the pedestal of drawn out drums and syrupy horns. This one reminds us listeners that there is hope. Initially released on March 26th, 2020 this song entered the world at an incredibly tumultuous time. Nearly the entire world spent the next month locked inside at home, sharing our stories online, voicing our opinions and most definitely not losing passion for our fight. The warm horns and vocal harmonies bring a personal element to this track reminding you there is no escape from the discussion of our futures. Building to a crescendo this song imitates the ebb and flow of heartfelt conversation. The music video mirrors this atmosphere of familiarity walking around Melbourne at nighttime. The black and white visuals feel like a strangely familiar memory of what Melbourne has been in the last three months. Contrasting scenes of live performances with the empty streets feels like my heart has been ripped out and put on stage for the world to watch.
Strange, the finale to this 7 track EP feels like an emotional goodbye. Didirri has said that this track was written and recorded before the pandemic hit, despite this it beautifully captures how we are feeling around the world along with the uncertainty of our future. This song was written years ago and will be familiar to his earliest audiences of Melbourne’s streets where he began busking. The lyrics are contemplative and feel like a stream of consciousness, brought to life with powerful vocals urging us to recognise the strangeness of the strangeness of our time. Strange builds from an acoustic beginning to a powerful and gravelly chorus that’s cracks open allowing creative reflection to flood out. This track erupts into an emotional jazzy outro leaving you wanting more of Didirri’s beautiful soul filled sound.
Sold For Sale is an EP that will only become more meaningful with time. Each track is like a spyglass into Didirri’s inner workings. His ability to create an intimate atmosphere is unmatched in the Australian music scene. This EP left me in tears, nostalgic for memories that I never realised I was making. Call this year what you want, there is still abundant goodness in the world, this EP is a piercing example of just that. Packed with sweet morsels of goodness for you to unwrap; Sold For Sale is a beautiful ode to 2020 and a reminder to reflect on these moments as they unfold.