Album Review: Daisyhead – The Smallest Light

Hailing from Nashville, Daisyhead have went from strength to strength since signing to No Sleep Records in 2014. Having released a critically acclaimed split 7” with Have Mercy last year, this full length debut has been eagerly awaited by many. The band’s sound is similar to that of early 00s post hardcore and alternative rock bands. Since forming in 2012 they have continued to grow as a band and hone their craft, this has resulting in a deeply engaging and immersive debut album.

’The Smallest Light’ is full of huge riffs, dipping into atmospheric reverb sections that hit equally as hard throughout, an absolutely staggering debut album. ’Defencelessness’ gets the record off to a flyer. Micheal Roe’s vocals sound similar to Jon Simmons of Balance and Composure fame, which works fantastically well coupled with the Jimmy Eat World style fast paced riffs in this song. In the second verse, the vocals become more of a shout which fits equally as well. The band could not have chosen a better opening song, from the first 30 seconds it becomes clear that ‘Defencelessness’ possesses all of the calling cards of a great “emo" rock single.

Title track ‘The Smallest Light’ is another stand out, it opens with reverb laden guitars, before kicking in with a huge grungey riff. This soft/loud dynamic continues throughout the song and carries the emotional vocals perfectly. Daisyhead are a really versatile band and this shines through when you compare tracks like ‘The Smallest Light’ to say, ‘East Bend’. Every song has its own character but the album still flows remarkably well.

Throughout the album both guitars duck and dive their way through riff after riff, complimenting each other and the vocals perfectly. Take ‘Lost Her’ for example, throughout the whole song, the guitars intertwine leads and crushing rhythm parts that makes the song sound fresh and engaging even after a few listens. The production on the whole album is fantastic, even the tasteful strings on ‘Lost Her’, that can so easily become cheesy, work astoundingly well in the context of the song.

Daisyhead have really shown that they are more than deserving of your attention. Vocalist Michael Roe has said that the band wanted to ensure their first LP was one they would be proud of, and they should be extremely proud of this effort. After a promising start with their split EP last year, Daisyhead have really came into their own. The way each song builds and builds into a thunderous roar then slips away just as quickly makes ‘The Smallest Light’ a fantastic debut and hints at even greater things in the future. What a great record, that could well end up on many an end of year list.

4/5

’The Smallest Light’ by Daisyhead is released on 3rd March on No Sleep Records.

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Words by Andy McGonigle (@andyjmcg87)

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