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elevator pitch: Darling Cora is a Canadian folk-rock singer-songwriter and guitarist with pretty songs that touch both head and heart. She sounds like the musical love child of Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley, and Bruce Cockburn – with Bert Jansch and Don Ross as doting foster uncles. one paragraph: Darling Cora (Darlene Cuevas) is a folk rock singer-songwriter and guitarist whose music touches both the head and heart. With a supple voice brimming with soul and grace, thoughtful lyrics, and a unique guitar playing style, her songs aim to capture emotional truths that are both raw and refined, prompting listeners to feel and experience the beauty and range of the human condition. She is also known for her open, and sometimes mischievous, stage banter. Currently based in the Toronto area, her debut LP "Heart Strung Out" is out now. longer: Darling Cora is a folk rock singer-songwriter and finger-style guitarist whose music touches both the head and heart. With a supple voice brimming with soul and grace, thoughtful lyrics, and a unique guitar playing style, her songs capture emotional truths. Both raw and refined, the songs aim to prompt listeners into feeling and experiencing the beauty and range of the human condition. She's also known for her open, and sometimes mischievous, stage banter. Born in Toronto to Filipino parents who immigrated to Canada in the early '80s, Darling Cora spent her childhood moving back and forth between the two countries. Inevitably, she forged an identity in between and apart from both cultures – undeniably Western and yet fully aware of her own difference. Her initial formal studies in English Literature at the University of Toronto showed promise as a budding literary scholar and writer, but because her heart truly lay in music and songwriting, she dropped out. Immersing herself in classical and “popular” styles for voice, piano, and guitar, she went on to complete her degree at York University. Darling Cora – Darlene Cuevas – offers a respectful reverence for a wide range of musical traditions, and aspires towards music with a timeless quality. Propelled by the breakup of her first long-term relationship, and with a newfound indie spirit, she released her debut LP "Heart Strung Out" in the summer of 2016. Produced by Canadian contemporary fiddle maestro Jaron Freeman-Fox, the album is a young woman's take on the many shades and subtleties of love and relationships. She can be found playing solo, duo, and band performances in cafes, living rooms, bars, and small festivals in Ontario and throughout the country. She is now writing and preparing for her sophomore album, to be released in 2019. In the past few years, she has taken her finger-style guitar playing to new heights, and currently has a sponsorship with the SGI Artist Program (formerly the Stonebridge Artist Collaboration Program). She plays a Stonebridge Furch acoustic guitar with Oxygen Duo pickups. Time to discover Darlene Cuevas – Darling Cora. She's a restless outsider. A refreshing new voice. An emerging guitar presence. An open heart. And part of Canadian music's future.
"The voice of Darling Cora (Darlene Cuevas) has a delicious range, vivid color and a soothing, comforting feel. She sounds like the Mona Lisa, the Rower's Lunch and Nighthawks. Please give her a listen."
--Dave Liljengren, East Portland Blog
"Experimenting with otherworldly sounds concocted from a percussion-based composition and vocal fluctuations, Darling Cora feeds us the spooky, raw inner workings of her mind. Through poetic songwriting and an eerie type of creativity, she releases Heart Strung Out as a confession (and a guidebook) to women everywhere."
-- Savannah Davanzo, Elmore Magazine
"Darling Cora (a.k.a. Darlene Cuevas) has a secret weapon — it’s an impossibly supple voice that conjures the mysteries of the ages. It soars, glides and flutters overhead with the grace and fluidity of birds while deftly accompanied by electric and acoustic guitar and strings with occasional touches of soft percussion that combines the best of classical, folk, jazz and shades of world music visited by exotic gypsies from a bygone era. Her astonishing debut album, Heart Strung Out, is a rich bouillabaisse of all these ingredients, yet the music never upstages her hypnotic vocals. Instead, it complements her beautifully, creating magical settings for her to truly shine."
-- Julie Stoller, Musings from Boston
"A magnificent vocal powerhouse, plucky guitar arrangements and world music rhythms. It’s big, honest and serenely meditative. Darling Cora's first full-length release Heart Strung Out is an indie-folk record with guts. I dare you not to get chills. Think Grace Slick, Joni Mitchell’s Ladies of the Canyon, and even the free-form rhythms of improvised beat poetry, all set to jazz/blues orchestral foundation."
-- Jesse Daly, A Feedback Loop
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RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Joni Mitchell, Bert Jansch, Jeff Buckley, Bruce Cockburn, Don Ross, Neko Case, & Bjork.