by Chris Hatch
A year and a half on from his full length debut, Dog Daisies returns clutching a handful of pages torn from the Encyclopaedia Of Indie Music – before throwing them up to catch on the Lancashire coastal winds
From this blur of ripped up confetti, some pieces fall gently like the softly skipping Everyone’s A Baby – its playful, wandering piano line is both childlike and sophisticated, which sits against the tender Rainy Day Fund – a guitar and vocal track that could almost be a lullaby were it not for the strains of uncertainty and fragility in singer’s Ste Hudson voice.
Other pieces land with a thud. Airplane! is a shouty, bass-driven mix of McClusky, very early Idlewild, and some of the more angular moment of Pavement’s stuff – at just over a minute, it acts as primal scream therapy for Hudson, as he unleashes 18 months of pent up emotion in 65 seconds.
And it’s this pent up emotion that Hudson seems to be trying to make sense of over the course of the mini album. Lead single, Karly’s Guitar, in particular is one of the songwriter’s finest pieces of lyricism – in fact, it’s one of his finest songs, full stop. There’s something about its vowelly, cartwheeling, rhyming structure and optimistic, indie pop that catches the ear and doesn’t let go. It’s so playful and inventive that when the desperation of its third verse comes around, you feel wrong-footed – ‘Sometimes I lie awake mulling over the notion/With the worst bits of a American crapped out into the ocean/Where people are sheeple and they’re hurting really deeple/And the the things that they think’ll make you wanna weeple’ – it’s the kind of thing that anyone with an empathetic disposition will have felt over the last few years, but we are here, and Hudson is sorry.
As the record unfolds, Hudson continues to dress his dejection and confusion up in various genre guises – River I Wanna Ride has a Guided By Voices meets The Wedding Present fuzz to it, while title track, You Are Here (Sorry), has the same looping experimentation and wistfulness as tracks from his two-part, An Inland Voyage EP. Elsewhere, Always Never Enough shows that Hudson still has a firm grasp on the stirring, sing-a-long indie rock of previous singles To Win, Wind Tunnel, and A River Runs Through It from Eagletism.
You Are Here (Sorry) succeeds in being Hudson’s most lyrically rich and inventive release so far – without compromising his unique ear for melody or distinctively playful way of expressing himself. While the Bingo Records’ man uses this record to play about with textures, tempos, and genres, there are countless times when he reaches out and snatches the perfect couplet to describe a moment, or unfurls the kind of ear-worm that stays with you for days. And to think there’s another full length on the way later this year, Hudson’s writing the next version of the encyclopaedia himself.
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