By Contributing Journalist Megan Hopkin.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the Belfast music scene lays a hidden gem. Or should I say flower to not mix my metaphors? It’s Big Daisy – a name deserved by the bandmates Ciara King, Aidan Reynolds, James Orr and Chris Ryan, as they are as reservedly bold and strong as the name sake.
I had the pleasure to get a chat with frontwoman Ciara all about Big Daisy, and their latest isolation anthem – recorded entirely at home!
So, who just is Big Daisy?
Ciara reminisced: “Me, Aidan & James have been childhood pals since we were 6 and have played together in bands on and off for yonks but we felt it was the right time to start off a band like Big Daisy musically. Our drummer Chris came around after we recorded Go Outside. He liked our demo & came onboard to help us make big beaut bops.We all love the noise-pop, indie pop sounds of some of our fave bands and it all just fell together naturally. Plus we’re all big anxious messes so the lyrics often reflect that.”
The band has a very distinctive, almost dreamlike quality in their instrumental as well as vocal performances. “Our influences come from Best Coast, Diiv, Alvvays, Early Weezer, The Cure & Beach Fossils.”
The newest single is a certified hit.
“Shimmer sounds like a gloaming by the seaside – gentle, beautiful, and warm. The song, lyrics filled with nostalgia, is a morose celebration of past misgivings which makes you want to sway – the melody moving you in a way at odds with the poignant message delivered.”
With Ciara’s vulnerable, lilting vocals dancing around beachy guitars, punctuated by Chris’ sleepy yet deferent percussion, this song will cement itself into your summer playlist.
Ciara gave The Jumble insight into just what the song means to herself, and her fellow bandmates.
“Shimmer is important to me because it’s a song about feeling stuck in your head. Dwelling on past mistakes and focusing on things you’ve done that you want to apologise for but never did. All whilst being stuck in your mind and not being able to get distracted from it.”
“I think as a band we all feel like way sometimes. We all deal with our own anxiety respectively and its something close to our hearts. Musically, the song is the release which has contributions from all four of us. It’s a somewhat happy and positive sounding song, with a much darker and self loathing set of lyrics. I’ve always struggled with actually singing about reality but Big Daisy helps us all do that.”
Isolation has meant that bands across the world have had to get creative with how they produce art. This sink or swim situation has led to bands getting more and more ingenious in how to function as a collective, whilst remaining apart.
Ciara reveals just how Shimmer came to be amidst a pandemic.
“Well, we had planned to work on and release an EP together around May/June time this year, but then lockdown hit and put a bit of a spanner in the works . But we didn’t wanna be discouraged, and figured, “why not attempt a little home recording?”. So all four of us recorded our parts separately, then Aidan pieced then together, and Chris produced it.”
“I guess the biggest challenge was the removal of the togetherness aspect. It was weird to have everyone do their own bits alone, when normally it’s just a collaborative thing. Normally conversations spark up and its built together. So I guess it was weird just doing our own things separately, for the same piece.”
Shimmer holds a certain special place for the band. “It was the first song we have ever played live together which is cool. It is also the first song that all four members of Big Daisy wrote together and collaborated on. So it’s the first real essence of the four our brains together.”
Shimmer is also part of The Jumble Magazine Local Music Playlist, which you can check out here.