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Indie Music SIngle Review: "Londinium" by Dar.Ra

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


Dar.Ra’s Londinium begins with an energetic piano intro and strong vocals delivered with real punch. The guitar and drums hit with an uplifting energy and a gruff edge. The song has a distinctive character with an energetic melody that bounces through along with the guitar cascading under Dar.Ra’s catchy, positive vocals. There’s a triumphant quality to the chorus, making the whole track feel like an anthem. The guitar solo has a jazzy, bluesy energy to it as it skips along easily.

This song tells the story of a family and a city through the years, speaking in a proudly defiant voice. The song begins as the narrator says that when he’s feeling depressed and “the world doesn’t care to know my name” he thinks about what his father told him and it “makes me feel proud to know where I’m from.”

The chorus is like an anthem as it says, “We are London, we’re the people that make it what it is” and says powerfully “We’ve been bombed ,we’ve been wronged but we’re still here.” There’s a sense of joy as the narrator adds “we’re the lights that make it truly shine” and then he continues wryly “We are London and if we leave, you know the preacher will be round to say the end is surely nigh.”

There’s a sense of deep belonging in the words, “Me family go back through the ages, they were here when this city was born” along with a powerful sense of duty in the line, “Fought in every single war.” The sense of sacrifice is clear as the words say, “Whenever the king or queen called, they sold whatever they had to get by to keep a roof overhead at night.”

As the generations move on, the sense of commitment and struggle is still conveyed by the song. Our narrator talks about his great grandfather’s service in the Boer War and his medal for distinguished conduct. In spite of that, “they promised him a house when he got home but all he got was this old town.”

Again the years have moved ahead and now the narrator talks about his grandmother being born “in a back room, in a crate made for old fruit.” He says that as soon as she could walk she was out "singing songs like Lily Langtry.” She met his grandfather at 16 as he went off to W.W. 1 and “somehow he survived the Somme and he married her.”

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Now we reach the 1940s and the narrator speaks about his father being born “under a siren, in an underground station waiting for the all clear.” He goes on to talk about how seeing London “burning down” broke his grandmother’s heart after the Luftwaffe bombing. However he adds, “There was nothing left to write home about, well there was nothing left except the will to fight!”

The narrator’s father is next in the song and he talks about him being “the original Pearly Ace*” and says that he had a heart of gold. He adds, “he’d never see you go without but he would say that things were changing” and continues “he’d say we’d have to fight for it with every last bit.”

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