Daisy Victoria - Nobody Dies and Heart Full of Beef EPs

An old message brought to you by a new deliverer. Both EPs are brilliant, independent, fully rounded pop records with guts; and made without (though I can only suspect this to be the case) any targets, or Twitter followers or trajectories in mind.

 

Sometimes you hear something new that reminds you just how much things – like your taste, or maybe the taste of people around you – change. Ironically enough listening to these two releases by someone probably less than half my age reminds me of a time where “alternative” music in this vein would be commonplace, the norm, the overriding mean through which you’d judge other things.* That it’s not is, I suppose, an indication of “where” independent popular music is being judged at the moment. Fair enough.

Enough amateur philosophy.

The opening of Nobody Dies has this great, cascading Mellotron (is it a Mellotron?) line which is very reminiscent of that descend in the Bunnymen’s Antelope or Neu!’s Isi. It’s a sparkling detail that dovetails with a soaring vocal. You’ve heard similar a thousand times, and just like the last time you’ll fall for it.  There’s a lot of Siouxsie there, possibly in the warmth of the vocals. And maybe the lyrics as there is plenty of that suggestive, “huntress in the wild” stuff that Sioux used to play around with back in her bejeweled, leather-strapped heyday. The release can become a touch thespian at times, but somehow just at the point you’re thinking, ‘ach come on, girl’, the whole thing gets stripped down and re-examined (that refrain in Blue Arc is a prime example, where a few quizzical guitar twangs pull things back into shape). Ammonite and Coals show similar discipline when required, allowing all the breathy stuff just enough space before being pruned back. The only one that escapes from the pen is Another Sky, which has the makings of a minor chord bedroom lament which flirts a bit too much with a mid-80s Everything but the Girl sound for my liking; BUT there are enough moments to show that the band question the approach, and stop it getting too slack. Don’t doodle in the margin, that’s the golden rule.

The other, earlier EP, Heart Full of Beef is a much rougher thing and a record I really, really like. It’s got something in common with (great Manchester band) Mr Heart’s stuff; who seem to share the same gutsy, rich stew of guitar fuzz and heart on sleeve reflections. Here though, we are bombarded with a set of mutton-sleeved, late 60s, “wither my lady-isms”; listen into the ridiculously moreish Tree, which is a real “Arthur Rackham on drugs” job. Macbeth to My Lady has a pounding, twanging presence that is reminiscent of Jefferson before they went all crap, whereas Secret Garden Path and Cloth are great mini operas that have all the haughty mannerisms down pat. It’s all great fun listening in, and the sort of thing you’d expect to pop up on an old Rubble or Pebbles compilations.

An old message brought to you by a new deliverer. Both EPs are brilliant, independent, fully rounded pop records with guts; and made without (though I can only suspect this to be the case) any targets, or Twitter followers or trajectories in mind. This is pop music stripped to the essentials, and made to entertain, not to become an aural equivalent of Lidl. I hope to fuck (though reviewers should never foist their expectations on bands) that Daisy Victoria keeps her music as lean, and as hungry, and as impish as this.

*This despite the heroic work of people like Tom & Alex White or DIY labels like Pale Fox.