Ann Arbor artist Dani Darling debuts with a new single, video, and name


Dani Darling

"I manage Annekes Downtown Hair Salon on Main St.," Danielle Davis said. "I'm a true Townie."

But when Davis isn't overseeing people getting their hair done, she's crafting songs as Dani Darling. The artist formerly known as Soulgalaxygirl just released "2:22," her first single and accompanying video under the new sobriquet, and it's a woozy slice of off-kilter R&B. The video features Darling lounging around her place, swiping her way through a bunch of Tinder profiles in search of a soul mate, but the tune itself is more of a true love song.

When Darling performs live, it's in a two guitar, bass, and drums lineup, and her music continues to evolve week by week and won't necessarily sound all that much like "2:22" in the future. But the multifaceted Ann Arborite with strong pipes can light up whatever kinds of songs she sings.

We talked to Darling about "2:22" and future plans with her band.

Q: Why did you decide to change your name and start over?
A: As Soulgalaxygirl I was trying to find a place in the R&B and hip-hop realm. I realized that my songwriting and style was definitely indie-soul and jazz. So I shifted my focus from working with producers to fleshing out my acoustic compositions instead. I decided to just start performing those songs and the rest fell into place. I actually have a few projects from that phase, not sure if they'll ever come out of the vault, we'll see.

Q: What's the origin of the song "2:22" and what does the title refer to? 
A: It's about fate and hoping you're on the right path. Especially when something is going well, or you meet a special person and it feels meaningful so you look for signs. In this case, I kept seeing 2:22 on the clocks and decided to write about it, it became a love letter of sorts. With the video, I wanted to shift the focus and explore modern relationships. Working with KaiCy we came up with a pretty cool concept and I'm very proud. We'll be showing it at the A2 Tech Film Festival in January.

Q: You're a guitar player and you often perform live with a full band, but "2:22" is an electronic / studio production. How did you end up going in that direction for the song? 
A: Before we formed the band I was working pretty closely with The Black Opera on artist development and my friend OBE from Australia just sent me some really cool tunes and asked if I had any ideas. I sat down and wrote "2:22" that afternoon. I don't even think he had intended on giving me the record but it just happened that way! The project will be quite a bit different but equally whimsical. 

Q: Is there rest of the EP in a similar vein and when does it come out?
A: You know, I'm not sure. Next year for certain but my sound has evolved so much since teaming up with Noor (bass), Chris (drums), and Joel (guitar) that I want this project to reflect that. We are about to enter our "studio phase" so it's very exciting. Stay tuned!

Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.

Dani Darling plays the Freighthouse Holiday Festival on Saturday, December 1, and the Electric.Soul.Show on Friday, December 7 at Ziggy's. Both venues are in Ypsilanti. Visit or her Facebook page for more info.