I have already spoken admiringly of the young British musician Daisy Victoria both last year and the year before, but it turns out I was only getting started. Her latest single, “Animal Lover,” is flat-out brilliant, a thrill ride of vocal prowess, textural panache, and melodic zing. Releasing her inner Kate Bush, Victoria emotes with range and know-how; and yet, at the center of this smartly focused composition is something that sounds far more like rock’n’roll than most of what passes for 21st-century indie rock, thanks to the active, gut-level guitar work on the one hand, and the cathartic vigor of the chorus. It’s actually the first half of the chorus, rocking with beauty and precision, that I’m talking about specifically (first heard at 0:39), powered by Victoria’s extraordinary voice; the second half, meanwhile, extends at 0:55 into fully Bushian territory, with thumps and yelps to drive us along.
And then: listen with glee later on as the song concludes with the two halves layered on top of each other (2:58), something that arrives feeling at once unexpected and inevitable.
“Animal Lover” succeeds beyond my ability to say much more, as succinct and powerful a three-and-a-half minutes of pop music as I’ve heard this year. It’s the title track of a three-song EP, which will be released next week. You can hear a second song on SoundCloud. Personal thanks to Daisy for the MP3 and permission to post it here.