Today’s Song: The Darcys’ “Washed Away” Is an Anthemic Reckoning with the Music Industry’s Constant Pressures

The Darcys © Maya Fuhr
The Darcys © Maya Fuhr
Alt-rock duo The Darcys reckon with the intense pressures of the music industry in their new song “Washed Away,” a feverish and cathartic upheaval of raw energy and achingly vulnerable emotion.
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Stream: “Washed Away” – The Darcys




We wanted to confront and acknowledge this toxic cycle as a first step to bettering our complicated relationship with creativity.

For those of us whose lives often feel like one endless pressure cooker, The Darcys’ new single offers a moment of rest, relief, and knowing reprieve. Few professions come with as many expectations, responsibilities, and duties as that of the modern day music artist: The ugly, unfortunate truth is that songwriting and performance, the so-called “core elements” of the calling, take up less than a quarter of the actual “job.” So much of leading and maintaining a successful, professional music career today revolves around branding and marketing: Social media (buzz word: TikTok!) helps build your public persona that extends well beyond the actual music, so that people aren’t just “buying into the music”; they’re “buying into you.”

While we here at Atwood Magazine don’t ourselves ascribe to this philosophy – nor do we condone such a mindset, believing instead that the music can and should speak for itself – that’s what’s being regurgitated by labels, industry coaches, and seasoned marketers who’ve worked on the campaigns one would deem as successful. Being in music is no 9-5 job; it may not have a cubicle, but it’s a 24/7, 365 commitment. You have to always be on.

With such an endless set of demands on one’s plate, it’s a surprise that more artists don’t get washed away in the proverbial riptide. Alt-rock duo The Darcys reckon with the intense pressures of the music industry in their new song “Washed Away,” a feverish and cathartic upheaval of raw energy and achingly vulnerable emotion.

Washed Away - The Darcys
Washed Away – The Darcys
Feeling toxic, third day in a row
Serotonin, at an all time low
Self medicate, you know how it goes
When you’re caught up in the undertow
So take my hand, I need your help
Pull me up, come on, come on, pull me out
I understand, how far I fell
Pull me up, come on, come on, pull me out

Independently out April 8, 2022, “Washed Away” is a captivating confessional highlighting the expectations – and quite frankly, the burden – placed upon thousands of recording and touring artists today. Dedicating yourself to you art comes with a hefty price tag and plenty of silver linings, as The Darcys’ Jason Couse and Wes Marskell share in a song full of inner fire and visceral release.

Formed in Toronto in 2007, The Darcys are no strangers to the ebbs and flows the music industry, having seen firsthand its evolution and adaptation into the Digital Age these past 15 years. The band’s discography includes five studio albums and a litany of singles, and they’ve spent years on the road touring rigorously.



The independent duo recently relocated from their longtime home of Toronto to California, and it would be a colorful but true understatement to say they found themselves swept up in the Golden State’s Pacific waves. “Washed Away” roars through the reeling, finding the band rising from whispers to a shout as they give themselves permission to acknowledge just how hard it is to play this game and shoot your shot, especially in an “era that values quantity over quality.”

They come to an understandable fever pitch in the track’s smoldering, cinematic chorus:

I’ve been sucked in by the rip tide
And I losing my mind
Everyone has got their hands out
But they’re waving goodbye
Getting washed away
I’m getting washed away
I’m getting washed away
The Darcys © Maya Fuhr
The Darcys © Maya Fuhr



“‘Washed Away’ is about trying to keep your head above water,” The Darcys tell Atwood Magazine. “The expectation for new music and endless content means sink or swim for artists like us. If you’re not always generating, releasing, and growing, it’s easy to feel like you’ll quickly be forgotten.”

“The pattern is nothing new: When we try to meet every expectation of our band, our mental health suffers, we burn out, and it’s difficult to find our way back to the surface. We wanted to confront and acknowledge this toxic cycle as a first step to bettering our complicated relationship with creativity. Turning these feelings into a song was extremely rewarding and you can hear that when the bridge offers the listener a little bit of hope in the form of a lifeline.”

I’m getting washed away” may be The Darcys’ cry for help, but it’s also a rallying cry we can all get behind.

That aforementioned bridge represents a moment of connection and outreach to all those who are in their same situation: “If you sink low, you’ll never have to be alone,” Jason Couse croons with care. “I want you to know that I’ve been there before and I’ll pull you out.” It’s a grave, but hopeful acknowledgement from those who have braved the same violent, rocky waters that throw everyone in the music industry overboard at some point.

Expectations at an all time high
Work you over in a cocktail line
Contact list, they got all the time
When you have something that they like
So take my hand, I need your help
Pull me up, come on, come on, pull me out
I understand, how far I fell
Pull me up, come on, come on, pull me out
The Darcys © Maya Fuhr
The Darcys © Maya Fuhr



The song’s Kassy Mahea-directed music video brings that sink-or-swim pressure to life, literally.

“The ‘Washed Away’ lyrics tackle some pretty heavy stuff, so we wanted the video to counter that with something fun and literal to capture those themes,” the band share. “There’s really nothing more literal than watching us pretend to be totally fine as we struggle to keep our heads above water. I’m starting to think it wouldn’t be a Darcys video if we weren’t getting punished physically and emotionally, or being left on the brink of hypothermia. The sea was angry that day, my friends. If anyone in Laguna Beach sees a bass drum floating by, DM us.”

For director Kassey Mahea, “The juxtaposition between the upbeat energy of the song and the darker undertone was something we were trying to exaggerate with visuals. We sought to capture a playful and stylized approach to a rather serious meaning. With poppy colors and somewhat childlike imagery, we challenged opposition with things such as deadpan gazes and unsettling moments of them being pulled under water.”

I’ve been sucked in by the rip tide
And I losing my mind
Everyone has got their hands out
But they’re waving goodbye
Getting washed away
I’m getting washed away
I’m getting washed away

A grueling music industry is nothing new, though what’s causing said pressure has changed considerably over time. Few songs are as open and honest about today’s throes, or paint as visual an image of that real anxiety and strife, as “Washed Away.”

In opening up to the world, The Darcys give a voice not only to themselves, but also to all their fellow artists (independent and otherwise) who are under the same constant pressures from an industry that will wash you away and swallow you whole.

Stream this enchanting anthem below, and connect with The Darcys below for more music. Needless to say, “Washed Away” has all the sun-soaked vibes we need to keep us afloat all summer long.

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Stream: “Washed Away” – The Darcys



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Washed Away - The Darcys

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📸 © Maya Fuhr


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