June 2017 The Hub of NTX threw the first Battle of The Bands that Wichita Falls had seen in some time. It was a refreshing experience, not only to see all the amazing talent that Wichita Falls has to offer, but the way that all of the musicians stuck around and supported each other. It seemed to be the dawning of a new era in our local music scene. It was at this event that I met Darion Ryan Roberts. Darion had just moved back home here in WF after spending about three years living and playing music in Austin. He ended up winning first prize in the solo act category in the battle.
Austin just kind of fell into place for Roberts. A friend in the area offered him a place to live. “I just needed to get out (of Wichita Falls) and make a change”, Darion shared. The Austin music scene opened his eyes to a whole new level of music. “All the different people I met and the genres that I was introduced to opened my mind to new music”, he continued, “What grew me the most is working with different musicians and being around other people that were head and shoulders above me.”
Roberts spent 3 years in Austin and just felt it was time to come home. In December 2015 he made the move back to Wichita Falls. “When you grow up here you feel like you just got to get out, but there was just a draw to come back home. We felt an excitement about Wichita Falls that can’t be explained. When I was growing up here there was nothing cool to do and nowhere to go. Now it’s cool to be a part of building something here that is new.”
Darion has been busy writing original material and has just released an EP entitled ‘Since I Left Austin’ that tells the story of his journey. The track, Three Years, seems to reflect his story about moving from Austin, but it somehow finds away to provoke person nostalgia in the listener. In fact, the entire project manages to have an easy familiarity to it.
Heartfelt and hauntingly nostalgic, that’s how I describe recently released EP, ‘Since I Left Austin’, by Darion Ryan Roberts. The drums and percussion nest nicely in the tracks, allowing the listener room to contemplate, not just the message of the lyric, but the emotions that are stirred by the smooth melodies and conviction in Darion’s voice. Each song finds a way to become personal to the listener. The guitar tone was perfectly selected to push the emotion even further. The songs selected for the recording blend well together without a single track seeming out of place.
The project is well worth a listen. Search for Darion online. You can find him on Spotify, Facebook, and YouTube. Keep an eye out for his live performances as well.