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Various Artists

Little Darla Has a Treat for You, V.27: Eternal Spring Edition

(Darla; US: 26 May 2009; UK: 26 May 2009)

The eclectic, bliss-dealing Darla Records has been putting out various artists compilations entitled Little Darla Has a Treat for You on a yearly/bi-yearly basis for several years now. Presumably they’ve kept the title because it fits: With a track list comprised entirely of exclusive songs and a great many artists not on Darla’s roster (but who share the label’s indie pop and mellow electronic leanings) coming to the party, these records may as well be big ol’ sacks of treats. It’s like a classmate tossing you a cherry Starburst from across the room without precedent. Hey, thanks!

Thing is, not all treats are created equal in the mouth of the beholder. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Good & Plenty are both candies, and I’m bound to see each on Halloween, but I’ll do anything for a Reese’s (likeability rating: 10!) and think of Good & Plenty basically as punishment (likeability rating: 2). Your ratings will vary from mine. It’s a point worth considering, since just about all of the tracks on V.27 aim for some kind of sweet spot as they cover everything from dub techno meditations (Yagya’s “A Small Offering”) to retro indie rock (New Radiant Storm King’s “Refused”) to the gothic proto-shoegaze most often associated with the Cocteau Twins (Rumskib’s “Secrets”)—and that doesn’t even scratch the surface. There’s a whopping 32 tracks here, spanning two discs, so happy hunting. Not everything’s going to do it for you, but spend some time rifling through this bag, and you’re bound to discover the tastiest thing you’ll have all week.


Mike has been a staff writer at PopMatters since 2009. He began writing music reviews for his college paper in 2005, where he cut his teeth as an arts editor and weekly columnist. He graduated from Vassar in 2008 and is pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. He is currently writing his dissertation on the role of rejection sensitivity in online infidelity, and lives with his incredible girlfriend in a wonderful shoebox apartment in Washington, DC.

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