When you hear Darity’s new single “Silver Spoon,” you can tell that Cincinnati native Linsley Hartenstein has a love for both music and poetry. With its dreamy melodies and poignantly crafted lyrics, the song is the latest from Darity since their first full independent album Bitterroot dropped in 2019. Released at the end of October, “Silver Spoon” is a collaboration with Memphis-based band Ghosty and stands as an example of Hartenstein’s masterful songwriting capabilities and mesmerizing vocals.
Hartenstein has been creating music under the name Darity, which derives from the word “solidarity,” meaning “to be unified,” since she was a teenager. The name pays tribute to the fact that Hartenstein is constantly learning from and partnering with other musicians; Darity is a project that pulls together the influences of a variety of different producers, instrumentalists, and lyricists. “I really care about working with artists and cultivating relationships,” Hartenstein says. “Darity, the band, is more like a collective.”
But even before the inception of Darity, Hartenstein was drawn to the healing power of music. She took piano lessons from her grandmother as a child and eventually picked up the guitar, too. She’d also always been an avid writer, with a particular interest in poetry. “Looking back, there was a lot of half paying attention in class and writing poetry instead,” she says. After Hartenstein’s guitar teacher encouraged her to try her hand at songwriting, she was hooked. “Writing music gave me a lot of permission as a person to feel through things and just be wherever I was at the time.” Listeners will find that restorative power carries over into Darity’s music today, in songs that are emotionally raw—and unapologetically so.
Darity’s ever-changing style and refusal to be constrained to one specific genre make for a refreshing addition to Cincinnati’s music scene. The musical inspirations behind Darity range from Noah Gundersen to Patti Smith, a fittingly eclectic group. “I love some nice, gross ratty guitar, but then I also love a really lush synth bed, you know?” Hartenstein says. “I think that’s why Darity’s sound is always evolving”.
What’s next for Darity? After playing a stripped-back set as part of CincyMusic’s Women in Music Wednesdays live stream event on November 11, Hartenstein looks forward to new songs and new collaborations. The collective plans to put out a few more singles over the course of the coming months; the first of three (a “surprisingly happy” tune, according to Hartenstein) is slated to be released in January. In the meantime, all of Darity’s work, including “Silver Spoon,” is available on your preferred music streaming platform.