And here we have, at the tail end of 2014, a song that somehow shocks me into here-and-now Okayness. Nearly (but not quite) as glistening as the kind of brain-free indie pop that makes my teeth grind, “Nobody Dies” is instead a song shot through with humanity and depth that leaves me laughing and winded, like emerging, twirling, from the salty, numbing North Atlantic on a warm summer day. Partly it’s the sweet subtle resonance of Daisy Victoria’s voice, and partly it’s the heroic melody, and the way it continually brings that voice upward in gratifying, unforeseen ways, but mostly it’s just how big and sweeping and genuine this feels, in an almost Kate Bushian way (minus, it should be noted, Kate’s all-out strangeness).
Hints that this is no mere dance-beat trifle come quickly (a beat-free intro juxtaposing water drips and echoey guitars) and often (even as the beat sets in, the mix is full of nuance and texture, devoid of ear-squashing processing). Some (most?) of the aural effects sound refreshingly guitar-based, in fact, while the drumming is sticks and skins as far as I can tell. And please understand that I am not now and never have been against electronics and beats and anything else that can be employed to make great music. But great music only and always originates in the human heart and soul. Something isn’t genuine just because it’s acoustic any more than something is automatically soulless just because it’s electronic. My particular glee regarding “Nobody Dies” has to do with how Victoria here has managed, in a sheep-in-wolf’s-clothing kind of switcheroo, to take an aural language too often employed to create soulless product and find within it the glow of life. I love this in uncountable and unaccountable ways.
Daisy Victoria is a singer/songwriter based in Norwich (UK). “Nobody Dies” is the title track to her second EP, released last month. You can listen via her SoundCloud page, and also there download this song in higher-quality .wav format, if that makes you happy.
Thanks to Lauren Laverne at BBC Radio 6 for the head’s up, and thanks to Daisy for the MP3.