Interview: Daisy Harris

Tabitha Smith 

Hailing from Helenburgh, in Scotland, artist Daisy Harris has been making a name for herself in the Manchester music scene. With the release of her colourful new EP ‘Fish Tank’ back in July, Daisy spoke with Impact’s Tabitha Smith to discuss the project’s influences, visual aesthetics, and her experience as an up-and-coming artist on the independent music scene.

I was greeted by Daisy and her lovely cat Junebug on our Zoom call, where she explained she was in Manchester, the city she has called home for four years now. Moving down from Scotland for university, the city’s vibrant music scene has welcomed her with open arms. Daisy explained that her musical journey started long before university however, as she got onto the scene through a program called Girls Rock Glasgow as a teenager. “It’s like a feminist rock band camp,” Daisy explained. Sponsored by indie-pop band CHVRCHES, the project supports young women and non-binary people between the ages of eight and sixteen find a strong music community. Daisy detailed that, to this day, her first gig with Girls Rock Glasgow has been her biggest, performing to over 300 people at the Art School in Glasgow. “When you’re fifteen, that’s really jumping off the deep end, but it was the most fun thing ever […] I love the Scottish music community – it’s really special.”

iconic female artists such as Imogen Heap, Avril Lavigne and Alanis Morissette feeding into the soundscape

Daisy’s new EP ‘Fish Tank’ is something that is really close to her heart, particularly as it came from such an organic place. “I went through some really intense things at the start of this year and was just like, I’m having so many feelings about this and I’m writing some really good material.” What started off as a break before recording a second album, became an EP that acted as a “sister project” to her previous work, ‘Forest Girl Rock’, mainly due to their consecutive influences. Daisy cites The Sundays as a huge inspiration for her music in both of these projects, explaining that “the harmonics and some of the melodies and jangly guitar” create some real parallels. ‘Forest Girl Rock’ had a lot of nineties influence, whereas ‘Fish Tank’ moves more into the noughties, with iconic female artists such as Imogen Heap, Avril Lavigne and Alanis Morissette feeding into the soundscape of the EP.

noughties nostalgia at its finest, with its bizarre mix of eery futurism and simplistic imagery

Visuals are just as important to Daisy, however, and ‘Fish Tank’ has a very specific aesthetic. Daisy explained the phenomenon of Frutiger Aero that she had seen on TikTok, a trend that embodied noughties nostalgia at its finest, with its bizarre mix of eery futurism and simplistic imagery such as the iconic pasture in the Windows background. “There’s a lot of imagery of fish tanks, and even dentists’ receptions seem to be a big part of that aesthetic for some reason, with the tropical fish and colourful water,” Daisy pointed out. Finishing off her masters in film production, Daisy has a broad skillset that can help these visions for her music come to life. “I try to incorporate some element of film in all my projects, but it’s more to do with the imagery and the aesthetic and the brightness of it, feeling summery and hopeful.”

The music video for Your Girlfriend, the first track on the EP, really exhibits Daisy’s skills with its tongue-in-cheek use of nineties and noughties magazine styles and slogans. “I was like, we don’t get this anymore”, Daisy explained. “Everything about it, the colours […] and the photography, the fonts and styling, it just captures that time period so vividly, and I was like, I would love to do a tribute to that!” The song also came out during Pride Month, something which Daisy regarded as fitting. “It’s really nice to confidently make queer music in a way that I haven’t necessarily before”, she explained, “it’s a process and this feels like the most honest stuff I’m putting out.” Speaking more about her music videos, Daisy detailed that she’d love to make more videos for songs on the EP, particularly Backwoods. Inspired by the visuals and soundtracking of the Mothman Prophecies and the Twilight saga, the video would ideally be shot on “grainy camcorders” and be an ode to eery, gothic-style filmmaking. The aesthetic differs greatly from Your Girlfriend, but makes perfect sense when listening to how spooky the song feels, showing Daisy’s unique vision for each and every one of her projects.

Despite evidently having lots of fun creating her videos, Daisy admits her favourite of the bunch is one that she didn’t make herself. Known appears on the new EP as a live version of the original, which was recorded in Nottingham with Daisy’s producer cousin, Davoli. Daisy describes the track as “resonant and folksy,” and she found that when she played it live it would only accentuate the best parts of the song. “I would play it and it would sound slightly out of tune in some parts, maybe my guitar would sound a bit croaky, and I just thought all of those things complemented the song so well,” a realisation that led to this newer, albeit “crunchier” version, in Daisy’s words, and she now loves both versions. It is the video for Known that is Daisy’s favourite, an intricate animation created by Hannah Clair, an artist who posts under @hannahclairillustration on Instagram. “When I saw it, I just cried my eyes out,” Daisy told me. “I just couldn’t believe someone had made something that beautiful for a song that I made. It’s so different from all the other videos I’ve made for my stuff, but it suits the song so perfectly.”

particularly the open mic circuit, which has allowed her a lot of freedom when it comes to creating a setlist that she’s excited to play

Daisy has had a great summer of live music, performing at different venues across Manchester, especially in the northern quarter, an area she is very fond of. A particular highlight was playing as a support act for Sandra’s Wedding and The Empire Police back in March. “I love Sandra’s Wedding, I just love their whole vibe and they’re just the nicest people, so that was really special!” Daisy has a great love for Manchester’s live music scene in general, particularly the open mic circuit, which has allowed her a lot of freedom when it comes to creating a setlist that she’s excited to play. “I don’t need to think about promoting anything […] if I want to play a song from three years ago, I can do that; if I want to cover something, I can do that, I just really love open mics.” As an independent artist who manages everything she does, Daisy has found a great community in Manchester, finding lots of friends in similar positions. Daisy had high praise for Bread Records, a company that represent some of her friends and hold great open mic events across the city.

Looking into the future, one of Daisy’s main aims is to make more music with her friends. Teasing some future collaborations, Daisy is very complimentary of the artists around her, having already worked with artist Wren on their song Queerbait, making a strong collaborative pairing that she hopes to return to. Speaking of dream collaborations, Daisy cites Australian shoegaze artist Hatchie as someone she would love to get in the studio with. “She’s just an insane producer and makes the most beautiful music that is so referential to the Cocteau Twins and Mazzi Star who I grew up loving, but still has its own original sound and charm.” As for new releases, Daisy assures me that there is a steady stream of tracks to be released just yet; “there’s lots more music coming, whether you want it or not!” Daisy explained that working on music is something that greatly improves all aspects of her life, so she has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon. “I know I have a lot of output for an unsigned artist at the beginning of their career but that is really where I get the most joy from, and I never want to lose the joy.” It is clear that Daisy puts her whole self into her craft as a musician, and her dedication to every aspect of music production, from mapping out the inspirations for all of her songs in detailed playlists, to creating beautiful videos that create a holistic vision for her sound. The future is bright for Daisy Harris, and Manchester is very lucky to have her.

Tabitha Smith 

Featured image courtesy of Demelza Walkden. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes made to this image.

In-article image 1, 2 and 3 courtesy of @daisyharrisuk via instagram.com. No changes made to these images.

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