Peter Sands, Jake Sands, Jesse River and Sean Chaucer Levine are Daylily. The four-piece from Minneapolis, Minnesota create music most aligned with shoegaze but it jumps around different emotional shades. Sometimes I thought of A Sunny Day In Glasgow and Belle and Sebastian while other tracks were more reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine or M83.
If you are a fan of shoegaze Daylily’slatest release Pills is certainly one you will enjoy. I did enjoy this album quite a bit but did have one minor gripe. Shoegaze can get away with lo-fi and there are certain aesthetics such as low hanging vocals and tons of reverb but this was a little too lo-fi for even a die-hard fan. Suffice it to say I would have loved to hear these songs with a fifty percent bump in production and recording quality making it more comparable to some of the aforementioned bands.
The album starts with a highlight entitled “Radio Play.” I couldn’t make out a single word that was being sung but still enjoyed the vocals because of the exuberant energy behind them. This song has its root in post-punk as well as shoegaze. Just listen to the bass line that shouts New Order. After a short instrumental entitled “Into a (Clear) Lake” the band launches in a clear highlight called “You Say Jesus Christ Too Much.”
The buoyant, upbeat energy that lies somewhere between Real Estate and A Sunny Day In Glasgow works very well for the band. Their strengths lie here. The vocals are catchy, the song is fun and has the aesthetic of a shoegaze song.
“God” is a song that touches some beautiful moments. That being said it feels contrasting coming right after “You Say Jesus Christ Too Much.” “Sunbeams” sounds like the beginning of an older M83 track while “Sunscreen Dreaming” has a tinge of Jesus and Mary Chain. They close “Your Heaven” which is the closest sounding to My Bloody Valentine.
Daylily is a solid shoegaze band that still needs to do a little digging to find their own niche within the genre. There are some inspired moments throughout this album but a bump on production and further realization of their own sound will take them to the next level.
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