The Darling Downs

The Darling Downs stand out as the most unlikely of collaborations between longtime members of the fertile Australian rock scene. While it is not at all insane to imagine the driving force behind The ScientistsBeasts of Bourbon, and The SurrealistsKim Salmon, working withDied Pretty’s energetic frontman and songwriter Ron Peno, the improbable happens when you consider the result that might flow from such a teaming.

What are the odds that these two towering figures of Australian music, famous for swaggering, noisy, swampy punk rock (Salmon) and soaring pop rock (Peno) would concoct such a perfect loveletter to American country folk? 1000-1? Armed only with Kim Salmon’s custom Cole Clark acoustic guitar and Peno’s singular voice and vision, The Darling Downs crafted an almost impossible album: a record of nuanced beauty, a subtle masterpiece that unfolds like a dahlia with each successive spin, giving the listener something new and unexpected at every helping. All from two guys and one pristine guitar.

“Anyone familiar with the punky swamp-rock of The Scientists or Beasts of Bourbon’s garage blues might be surprised to hear Kim Salmon’s latest project. The fêted guitarist has joined forces with Ron Peno, singer of defunct feral rock outfit Died Pretty, and together, they’ve stepped well outside their comfort zones. As The Darling Downs, they’ve produced a record of spare, tender songcraft, whose delicate shifts in tone make the simple tag inadequate. A brave move for both, brilliantly pulled off. 4 stars.” — Sharon O’Connell, Uncut

“Like the young boy who studied his Superman comics religiously until he convinced himself he could fly – and he did, Peno and Salmon have grasped every essential particle responsible for creating a timeless Americana album and done just so..Impressive and deserving of multiple repeats.” —, Slightly Confusing to a Stranger