Didirri rises from his depths with uncompromising vulnerability and enveloping waves of warm, ambient folk-tinged rock in his sophomore EP ‘Sold for Sale,’ an intimate record of heartbreak and hope, humility and humanity.
for fans of Gregory Alan Isakov, Alex Lleo, The Head and the Heart, Father John Misty
There will always be something raining on your parade, so you may as well start the parade.
Didirri’s sophomore EP opens with a heartfelt message of thankfulness, optimism, and promise.
As guitars swell and pianos pulse a poignant melody, the Australian singer/songwriter rises from his depths with uncompromising vulnerability and enveloping waves of warm, ambient folk-tinged rock. An intimate record of heartbreak and hope, Sold for Sale is a stirring emotional upheaval set to a gorgeous musical soundtrack: Blending tenderness and urgency, humility and humanity, it’s a heart-on-sleeve journey into the soul offering to its listeners a moment of escape, a safe space of solace, and a chance at catharsis.
Start the parade as the sky turns grey
You know how to float and where to pin bouquets
There’s no time to spend on waiting
‘Cause I won’t die another death
And this helps me to forget
That I am sold for sale at the buyer’s price
There’s fires down in paradise
You should hold me higher than my lying eyes
I may love you till the day I die
– “Sold for Sale,” Didirri
Stream: ‘Sold for Sale’ – Didirri
Released September 25, 2020 via Nettwerk Music Group, Didirri’s Sold for Sale is a triumphant, powerfully self-aware sophomore effort. The follow-up to 2018’s debut EP Measurements arrives on the heals of a full year’s worth of compelling singles releases that began back in late 2019 with the release of “Blue Mood Rising,” which Atwood previously described as an emphatic exploration of the self without the rose-colored glasses: “Real and raw, the song surges into fragile psyches and insecurity with passionate overdrive, lilting high piano chords, and a sweeping set of vocal “ahs” that nail the landing. Rather than shy away from self-doubt and anxiety, or even the downturns in our “ups and downs,” Didirri leans into the fray and encourages himself and everyone listening to embrace fracture – because only if we are broken, can we know what it really means to be whole.”
We may not have known it at the time, but “Blue Mood Rising” is the perfect poster child for the kind of songs Didirri – née Didirri Peters – espouses on his second EP. The artist leans into his faults and flaws, embracing these traits for what they make him – imperfectly perfect – while still committing to persevering in the end. Yet his music is never about him personally, but rather these meaningful experiences that sum up to personal growth and change. He observes his own tendency to overthink and over-analyze in “The Critic,” delivering an impressive overhaul in the chorus: “Before the cats fight the dogs like the wolves in the night, and you should write me out of the will if you like. For being one who cowers when he sees the headlights, my bark is sharper than my bite.”
Later on, the heartaching “don’t fight with what you’re fighting for” offers an unencumbered surrender: A full unveiling of a burdened soul looking to be burdened no more: “You’ve seen pain walk down the street, knock a blind girl off her feet,” he observes solemnly. “Always was a bully to the weak – still standing, should have given up…“
“On a personal level, you fix the world by fixing your own shit,” Didirri says of this moment of music. “There is no point trying to tackle something on a global scale if you can’t stick to your morals and lead by example. Don’t stoop to a lower level than what you expect of other people.” In other words, practice what you preach, or don’t preach at all.
A centerpiece arriving on the EP’s back half, “Raw Stuff” remains a continuous knockout track. Full of pain and sadness, the bittersweet ballad reckons with hardship and the paths we choose for ourselves, especially when they take us away from the ones we love. “It’s not just about chemistry with a person; it’s about timing as well,” Didirri shared in Atwood‘s Valentine’s Day feature. “Sometimes an impossible one to learn without going through it: When I first wrote ‘Raw Stuff’ I remember giving up on it straight away. It was too painful.”
That pain translates into a beautifully breathtaking embodiment of inner turmoil, with expressive piano work and soaring strings providing the perfect backdrop to Didirri’s solemn singing:
Rachel, I’m sad now
And it’s too hard to listen
My mind’s still a prison
And I’m learning
To trust you when I go now
And I’ll hold you to some distance
My heart’s still in schisms
And I don’t know how to live without
Whippin’ my clouds
And skippin’ my Christmases
My days could be numbered with notes made of letters
And I know that I love me
But lovin’s not enough
It’s not how I planned it
But life has some raw stuff
Life has some raw stuff
Listeners don’t necessarily need to take anything away from Sold for Sale, but it’s hard to avoid internalizing these lessons learned. Didirri’s passionate performance is heavy-hearted and deeply inspiring: Finally, through all the hurt and uncertainty, turbulence and self-doubt, we come to the dynamic, feverish reckoning, “Strange.” A mirror held up to the soul, the EP finale burns bright with a humble realization of one’s unnecessary actions and their impact on others. It’s newfound maturity manifest in an urgent, anxious musical fire that needs to get it all out there, so that some kind of healing and renewal process may begin.
Doesn’t it seem strange
When you say something you didn’t have to say?
Like the extra notes you didn’t have to play
The words just fell straight from my mouth
Just like homing birds fly south
And doesn’t it seem strange
How things around me start to change?
She pulls me in and holds me tight
But my thunder’s louder than my lightning bright
Doesn’t it seem strange
That adoration is a curse?
And sorrow writes an easy verse
My happiness has few other words
Let that warm gun take its turn
As bluesy guitar and rollicking piano, smoky trumpet and grooving drums put his song to sleep, Didirri leaves listeners with a refreshing sense of purpose: As if it’s now our time to move, self-reflect, and dig deep into our own selves.
Built from that long transformation of personal pain into inner light, Sold for Sale is as soothing as it is sincere: With his heart on his sleeve, Didirri has delivered an outpouring of majestic music we can’t help but immerse ourselves in. Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Didirri’s Sold for Sale EP with Atwood Magazine as the artist goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of his latest EP!
Sold for Sale is out now via Nettwerk Music Group.
Stream: ‘Sold for Sale’ EP – Didirri
:: Inside Sold for Sale ::
Sold for Sale
“Sold for Sale” is all about gratitude. It was written a few miles away from Paradise in California after The terrible fires that happened in 2019. I spent my first Thanksgiving there and I was shocked to see so many people giving thanks for what they had. Despite losing almost everything so many people were getting on with being happy. There will always be something raining on your parade, so you may as well start the parade.
The chorus is me purely expressing my love for someone: I’m completely sold – ready to be whatever they need me to be, “for sale at the buyers price.” If you could only see all the things you could be grateful for you, would be so much happier for it.
The act of criticizing something can often ruin it. The “Observer Effect”, it has been long known by scientists and philosophers that the act of viewing something can and probably will affect it. The Critic is about that person who over analyzes every action and reaction in a relationship. Although they may be striving for a better connection by criticizing their every move, they are actually taking themselves out of the moments that matter. No longer present, they have “killed the scene.”
It may seem like the most intelligent move to analyze your every action but make sure you don’t over correct and start to see things beyond what is actually going on. You aren’t a wolf, you’re just a dog and you may not be seeing things for what they clearly are. Love needs to be free of criticism to flourish. You aren’t the expert in your relationship; you are half of the team and half of the problem.
Loose Belt Drive
A ‘loose belt drive’ is a metaphor for anyone feeling worn out. As anything that is belt-driven eventually wears out. It’s a part designed to be replaceable. I wrote this together with Jon Hume at his home studio/ apartment in West Hollywood.
I was at the end of my first multi-stop overseas work trip, I was having a lot of meetings and at the time I was making comparisons to religion and the music industry, to the allure of money versus the allure of doing something meaningful. It feels like there is an obscene amount of riches at the very top of both that can stop you seeing what’s important, yet most of us begin with a passion for what we do, not with greed.
‘Burning off a tower’ is a substitute for ‘tall poppy syndrome’ and in reference to ‘the tower of Babylon’, where god smites the people for their pride and ambition. It’s impossible to reach further than you can but it’s not impossible to reach as far as you can.
Blue Mood Rising
“In the hills of Los Angeles, by a kidney-shaped swimming pool, I met Londoner George Taylor for the first and only time to date. We were both at similar moments in our lives. We started writing while looking out over the city that often promises fulfilled dreams and we questioned its true intention. We wrote of the riches around us that we were not a part of. Wondering to ourselves whether we would be manipulated by the shiny glow of it all.
I have always been wary of being led down the garden path. However, it is a beautiful path to tread. It is a colourful and engaging life to lead but only when walked by you. Have you ever looked at a photo of yourself and thought that you were different back then? Has your confidence changed? Are you easily shaken now? But, how can your feet be swept away if you have them firmly on the ground by your own decision? Remember who you do this for. Whatever ‘this’ is. There will be others that help you down the path but remember where your core is. Your self-worth should be based on my own choices. If there is ever a crack to appear in your footing, you’ll feel it. You’ll feel a blue mood rising before it appears.”
For the first time in my life I was skipping Christmas. I was feeling very, very guilty about it.
My passion for creative work had taken over too much of my life, so there I was, on the other side of the planet. I briefly scribbled down some lyrics and started playing the first half of ‘Raw Stuff’ on the piano. It came out as an expression of my closed mind. Though I was pursuing my creative goals, I was far from family and friends. So it was difficult to open up to someone I cared about back home. I couldn’t explain the mixed bag of emotions that was weighing me down. I gave up on the song very quickly. It didn’t feel finished.
Two years later; I am in the studio writing a band arrangement for another song. The phone rings, and it’s the person that I had been feeling cut off from the year I skipped Christmas. They say they feel the same, and that they had also found it hard opening up. They tell me that they will be skipping Christmas this year. I instantly remember the first half of that song that I had never finished, and suddenly it all makes sense. Part two. Raw stuff instantly falls into two parts. The first half is my side of a miscommunication and the second my reaction to hearing they felt the same.”
Don’t fight with what you’re fighting for
On a personal level, you fix the world by fixing your own shit. There is no point trying to tackle something on a global scale if you can’t stick to your morals and lead by example. Don’t stoop to a lower level than what you expect of other people.
‘Don’t fight the things you’re fighting for.’ Too often we see multi-generation cycles of bullying, rage, anger and abuse. When someone is a ball of pain and they are ready to hurt someone else. You’ve got to recognise the cycle. Don’t fight racism with racism or sexism with sexism. When you look at any extreme group the only way they ever altered is with a gentle hand. The first step is to stop calling them the enemy. Hate the ideas not them. Love, kindness and generosity work. It’s not about giving talks or taking questions, it’s a conversation.
‘Low bearing elbows at the bar’ alludes to the men who hold up the bar. It’s an encouragement to those who are repressed to express themselves not repress others, to stop repeating that cycle.
‘Don’t go losing heart’: Your world isn’t falling apart just because a few things are going badly.
I used to lie. A lot. It poisoned every relationship I had at the time. I had become immune to the feeling of deceit but there was one lie that swung me out of everything.
“I love you”. The words I mouthed through the window of a train as it left the station. I had just broken up with my partner of three years. I no longer loved this person. It tasted unnecessary coming out of my mouth. I suddenly realised the damage that lies do. The receiver will be hurt for a moment, a minute or a year but the I will never have a proper connection with them ever again. How could they trust me. How could I ever convince them that I’m not that person anymore.
You can’t, it’s up to them.
Watch: “Strange” – Didirri
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📸 © Gil Gilmour
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