Friday, April 08, 2022

Daisy Harris is Set To Take Listeners By Storm With Her Debut Album ‘Tornado Dreams’

Having only released her first single, ‘Your Eyes’last year, Daisy Harris is fresh into her music career, however, her debut album Tornado Dreams shows that the 20-year-old is ready to take the indie music scene by storm. 

Daisy hails from the west coast of Scotland but is currently studying drama and is based in Manchester. 

On her Spotify, Daisy has described her eclectic influences and is mostly inspired by the music her parents raised her on; mixing rock, ‘90s pop and folk. 

The album really showcases the diversity of Daisy’s influences and how this has bred a unique sound that sits well between alt-rock/indie with sounds reminiscent of artists such as Maggie RogersPhoebe Bridgers and Mitski. The mix of genre influences with the hints of folk and something about Daisy’s mellow tone pushes her sound in some tracks to a place that has the eclectic wonder of Joni Mitchell


Throughout the album, there is a real display of Daisy’s talent as a musician with the use of a range of different instruments and techniques that ultimately give her tracks depth and give listeners an audio adventure that is new and exciting song after song. Daisy’s strong instrumentation pairs well with the power of her lyrics. The strength of these lyrics lies in their candid nature which shows a vulnerability to her song narratives. She speaks of many aspects of young life from missing home, to breakups and how downright fabulous best mates are. 

The 16-track album features some previously released tracks but also a range of brand-new songs for listeners to indulge in. The dreamy cover art is simple in design with a striking image featuring Daisy running through a field (captured by@emily.worms). This theme of nature carries through into the first track on the album ‘Shona’. 


‘Shona’opens the album with a natural soundscape, leading into an acoustic guitar. The piece (a previously released single) feels like a well-fitting first song, providing an overture to the rest of the album. The track isn’t lyric-heavy and features vocalisation from Daisy, á la Maggie Rogers. With touching lyrics such as “It’s like I was made with you in mind”,‘Shona’ is a heartfelt song written about the platonic unconditional love between Daisy and her best friend.


From the soft acoustic vibes in ‘Shona’, the album then moves to ‘Baby You’re Bad Luck’.This has sounds of Mitski and Alanis Morissette, with the strong rock/punk sounding guitar. The lyrics are honest about the exasperation felt toward a relationship, with the chorus giving lines such as “You only call me when you’re bored”and “Your number is blocked/ but I like it when you cry”The change in style from the first to the second track is the hint of the tour-de-force of Daisy’s range as a musician that the album provides.


In ‘Your Danger’, Daisy’s folk-influence is noticeable with the instrumental having an almost country feel to it. This builds into a really interesting bridge that sees the instrumental of the song “powered down” to produce a raw stripped back section, that compliments the lyrics where Daisy speaks that “I don't want your danger/ and that means I don't want you/I could say I hate you/ but I think that I hate myself too”.


‘Again and Again’describes the breakdown of a relationship, with a contrasting and upbeat backing. This is another display of the candour that Daisy’s lyrics all hold with the line  “I'm in pain/ I can’t be blamed for forcing love”hitting hard against the more upbeat guitar.


‘Gregory Crewdson’ brings yet another musical dimension. This track begins with an organ introduction, which Daisy fits seamlessly into the song. Named after the American photographer, the song somehow manages to reflect the familiar surrealism that Crewdson’s photography shows in the melancholic suburban images he captures. The instrumental to the song has something reminiscent of Bowie, whether it be the recurring country twang on the guitar or the antique radio sounding audio sample that runs just below the track adding a completely different layer, there is just something about the song that feels like a contemporary reply to the Starman. This track shows Daisy’s ability to layer in a way that creates a musical texture that is somehow contradictory and complementary. This is also the first obvious multi-disciplinary reference with the conversation from music to other art forms adding new complexities to the stories Daisy tells.


‘East Midlands Soliloquy’ displays Daisy’s skill as a guitarist as well as a vocalist. The track begins with just Daisy and the guitar line and then after a short pause and an “okay nice” from Daisy the wider instrumental kicks in. The track has a nice dream/bedroom pop feel to it, this contrasts the feeling of the next track ‘All the Time’, bringing a more upbeat with a mainly piano instrumental accompanying what feels like a positive love song really well.


Not named after the major road connecting Clapham and Worthing, but instead the indie film company that brought the world masterpieces such as Midsommar, Ladybird and Moonlight (and Uncut Gems) ‘A24’ is another intermedium dialogue. The song hears Daisy questioning a relationship but with a 2000s pop feeling (think Unwrittenby Natasha Beddingfieldbut again with Daisy’s ability to blend genres there is also a feel of the rock influence on her sound adjusting a familiar sound to fit her personal sound. 


In ‘How Would You Like It’, the vulnerability in Daisy’s lyrics is mirrored entirely in the instrumental with a singular guitar line running throughout the song. This really gives the sadness she is expressing within the song's message a framing that allows her words to reach listeners in all their raw glory. The track speaks of the objectification faced by women and girls within society, describing different situations from treatment within relationships to the experiences of women in public asking listeners questions such as “How would you like it if I followed you home?” and apologising for not being the way they want her “still as a doll with a deafening heartbeat”. The song puts in the spotlight the culture women are faced with and are entirely fed up with and this is culminated in the cry of frustration at the end of the piece.


‘Come Home’is described on Instagram by Daisy as one of her personal favourites off the album. The sombre tune summarises the melancholia of homesickness, which will speak to different listeners on a multitude of different levels. Whether home is a person, a place or a feeling the song tells the story of it being just out of reach. The song is an indie waltz, with a slow ¾ tempo that is made for dancing with your eyes shut, processing the feelings that the song describes.


The chorus of ‘Dreamer’,“And I’ve done things that I’m not proud of/ But I tell them all to you”  seems to describe the ups and downs of a relationship and does so in a rather catchy way using what sounds like synth keys and guitar. ‘ForeverForever’has a definite Mazzy Star feel to it both musically and lyrically with “Coz it’s you/It’s always been you/You’re the quiet at night/The November light and it’s you” having the same dream pop feel that you get from tracks such as Fade into you


A complete 180, ‘Dandelion Salad’has a diverging sound and displays Daisy’s skills across the various string instruments by adopting a banjo line. With a subtle tambourine beat, a triangle and hints of harmonica this is a complete folk celebration and gives visions of driving through “cider country” in late summer moving away from an old unrequited love to a more hopeful future.


‘Get Free’ epitomises everything you want to say to that one person but never seem to be able to, such as “Coz I wanna hold you when I’m all alone/ I keep reading over all your words on my phone”. It’s another of Daisy’s more upbeat songs off the album, with a catchy motif in the guitar line and like the other songs feels very like a very candid insight into the artist’s feelings.


Daisy’s 90s rock influence is definitely heard again in ‘The Boy’, the song reflects on a relationship that is looked back upon with a bittersweet nostalgia acknowledging how important it was and the absolute devastation felt at its termination. “You were the hardest I’ve ever fallen/ I’m in pieces, broken, crawling to the cradle that I left/help me understand”.


From the bittersweetness in the previous track, ‘Gelato’ (as the title would suggest) is a sweet-sounding ukulele track. The song has reference to the possibility that being young allows  “How wonderful to be younger/ to be full of unspent thunder” and brings a refreshing end to the album.

The album is a testament to Daisy as a musician and storyteller and she gives something completely different to each song, using a range of influences to create an eclectic sound that feels quite new but still wonderfully familiar. Daisy’s ability to be completely honest in her lyrics makes connecting to the songs very easy with it feeling like each one tells a different life chronicle or reveals a new thought or feeling that listeners will be able to relate to. Tornado Dreams feels like just the beginning for this up-and-coming musician who is sure to go from strength to strength and is a complete must listen. 


Francesca Riley


Image: ‘Tornado Dreams’ Official Album Cover


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