Sunday, August 08, 2021

Daisy Harris Impresses On Wonderful Debut EP ‘Wild West’

Hailing from West Scotland, Daisy Harris puts down her marker as a singer-songwriter threatening to burst into the mainstream consciousness with marvelous debut EP ‘Wild West’. At just twenty years old, with the backdrop of the musical city of Manchester and her formative years in the highlands to inspire her, the EP is a fascinating ride of versatile musicianship and quick, clever lyrics.  

Kicking off the Ep with a deep breath, ‘183’ is a masterpiece of abstract scenes and metaphors to die for as the song soars on Harris’ quick wit and knack for a sharp line. “I’m wearing a dead girls clothes” bemoans Harris, in one of the finer examples of her vivid imagery, as we find the singer relate cold, wet windy nights in the north to her own feelings of angst and loneliness. 

The tempo changes on second track – ‘Ley Lines’. The pounding claps and introduction of bass come like a bolt of blue, whilst the breathing and monotone, spoken lyrics show Harris at her versatile best. Ley lines are a highly contested idea found in pseudoscience circles, suggesting that major landmarks and monuments are connected by straight lines of spiritual energy. The moodiness of the track almost transports you to the mysterious and foggy land of the Highlands, where our ancestors practiced religious rituals that highly influence the modern Ley Line fanatics. It’s a fact clearly not lost on Harris, as she claims “You’re gonna leave this land but you’re under a spell / It’s gonna chase you” acknowledging the spiritual influence her homeland has over her and the energetic qualities many feel it holds. 

The theme continues on the astute ‘Highland Song’ as Harris pays tribute to the wildlands she’s from. “There are brighter places than this faceless fairy land / but the sun has never touched them like it holds you in its hands” subtly suggests the singer, over a mellow yet intriguing picked acoustic guitar. The track is a perfect example of what makes Harris so endearing, as she paints vivid pictures with magical lyrics whilst maintaining a sense of joy and optimism in what are often heavy themes. 

A carnival atmosphere is brought with the fantastically playful ‘I Called Joy’ with it easily being the most accessible track on the EP. It’s choruses of Beatles-esque “La Da Di’s” and catchy horn hooks show a singer unafraid to bend her musical genres. With previous songs painting Harris in the mould of Laura Marling, it’s brilliant to see someone so young not be tied to a certain formula and makes her rise as a musician even more inevitable.  

The penultimate track ‘H.O.L.Y’ is the first time the EP threatens to stagnate. The strumming acoustic guitar is nothing new, and its slow build seems to last longer than most. However, as the song develops into a mantra of “Hold on, let yourself go” with its falsetto backing vocals, we hear a song that takes pleasure in its simplicity. The airiness of the track allows the message to breathe and becomes more and more moving with each listen. Whilst it may initially be seen to be bogged down by the brilliance of the rest of the EP, it finds itself as the standout track, due in no part to the subtle yet scintillating vocal performance delivered by Harris. 

The final track ‘Swim For Miles’ is another example of Harris’ exceptionally abstract storytelling lyrics. It’s not simple enough for the singer to talk of drinking or emotions, she must paint them in vivid colour on a bright yet mysterious canvas of her own creation. The track threatens to crescendo, yet ever the unpredictable nature of the EP, it mellows into just Harris and her guitar, a fitting end to one of the most creative, intriguing, and quite simply brilliant releases of the year. 

Harris may not have re-invented the wheel with ‘Wild West’ but what she does, with her abstract lyrics and tight musicianship, she does brilliantly.  


James Ogden 

Image: Wild West Official EP Cover

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment Here;