In the spring of 2001, vocalist Ami Saraiya had just left swampy funk and R&B band Pelvic Delta after three great years. Although the band was doing quite well and getting rave reviews around the globe, Ami’s songwriting was developing in a completely different direction. A product of american pop culture and parents emigrated from India, her head was crammed and swirling with a mishmosh of johnny cash, indian folk tunes, radiohead, old country lullabies, billie holiday, bjork, and bad 80’s pop ready to spew an entirely new creation. All she needed was the right musical partner to help fill out the tunes.
It wasn’t until February 2002, amidst the tall trees of Circle Pines, Michigan that Ami met guitarist/programmer Scott Blackburn. Scott’s colorful days of freight train hopping, tales as an Alaskan fisherman, and his incredible zeal for quarks and circus elephants were definitely a good catalyst for the collaboration. A few months later, they met percussionist Ben Gray through the Jazz Institute. It was his unique style and subtlety coupled with his bird calling antics that made him a shoe in for the band. Through Ben’s jazz connections, they met violin virtuoso, Savoir Faire. Nameless to say, they played their first show at a Voices in the Wilderness benefit show at the Heartland Café in december of that year. That was the night they met the lovely Radiant Darling herself. A good friend introduced them to the latent antique wood burning stove standing there sheepishly in the middle of the room unaware that she would dub their newly created musical formation.
After performing with a few different upright bass players, it wasn’t until early 2004 that the band met the incredible Upright/Electric bassist Marc Piane who ultimately ended up playing on their upcoming debut release “Cryptomnesia” (set to release on Tense Forms records in October 2005). Radiant Darling has continued to perform at the finest venues in Chicago including the Metro, Fitzgerald’s, Empty Bottle, Martyrs, Beat Kitchen and more.
The current line up has changed a bit, but is as emotionally charged as ever including Ami Saraiya, Ben Gray, and newest member and guitarist/songwriting master Casey Meehan. Being from the seedier side of New Orleans, Casey writes dusty songs full of longing and redemption. A member in good standing of the First Baptist Church of The Blessed Tom Waits, Meehan's religious iconography drifts over swampy landscapes and adds a wonderful dimension to the Radiant Darling sound.