Tornado Dreams Review: Daisy Harris is brimming with imagination
Tornado Dreams by Daisy Harris is a refreshingly organic album with singing and playing that comes straight from the heart. In a world where so many songs are carefully compressed and micro tuned vocals sung over rigid quantised beats, this tapestry of longing, heartbreak, and pensive introspection stands out with its acoustic and holistic approach. You’re sure to stay around and see it all with the strong melodies and catchy instrumentals Harris has written. Check this out if your a fan of folk, indie-pop, or want to enjoy some well-written music by a UoM student.
The star of the show is Harris’ voice. Its allure is immediately shown with the beautiful undulating harmonies on the first track ‘Shona’. Throughout the album their singing is consistently rich with authentic expression that perfectly matches the themes of the songs. The tracks ‘Again and Again’ and ‘How Do You Like It’ were stand out performances. A few times, more extroversion felt suitable in the voice on a song like ‘Baby You’re Bad Luck’ with its punk elements. Especially when the artist is exasperated with someone who “only rings [them] when they’re bored”.
On Tornado Dreams Harris shows her skill for track-listing. This album could have been a collection of expansive, dreamlike songs. Instead, Harris smartly changes gears every few tracks by putting in songs with a more rhythmic feel. Just as you are settling into it, songs like ‘All the Time’, ‘Dreamer’ and ‘The Boy’ come along to make sure you aren’t sitting too far back in your seat. ‘East Midlands Soliloquy’ sums up this technique nicely. In the beginning it is small and intimate, and then Harris counts in more instruments to change its mood to a sound with more energy.
Production is very much DIY. This didn’t bother me. It never got in the way of Harris’ artistic vision and I think it actually adds to the charm I spoke of at the beginning. Sometimes their singing and the repeating refrain on the guitar don’t blend entirely; on ‘Come Home’, I found the guitar too prominent. ‘Get Free’ achieved the balance I was looking for. On this track I could hear their voice and the guitar line well, without the guitar sticking out.
There are 16 tracks on this album and I think some of them didn’t need to be there. Harris is a great lyricist and whereas the lyrics from other tracks really caught my ear (examples include the aforementioned ‘Again and Again’ and ‘How Do You Like It’, then ‘Dandelion Salad’) songs such as ‘Gregory Crewdson’ and ‘Foreverforever’ didn’t speak as much as others. I also would have chosen to finish this experience on ‘The Boy’ and not on ‘Gelato’. It doesn’t blend with the sonority of the other songs and finishing on ‘The Boy’ is would make it a more a satisfying journey.
In summary, Tornado Dreams, is a solid and interesting musical experience. I can definitely see myself returning to album to listen to Harris’ captivating voice, lyrics, and instrumentals in the future.
Favourite Song: “Dreamer”
Favourite Lyric: “Still as a doll with a deafening heartbeat.”
Keep up with Daisy Harris’ releases and gigs on Facebook.