Daisy the Great: “We really have no rules when it comes to style or genre…” (5/10 at The Foundry)

“We love Philly!” says Kelley Nicole Dugan and Mina Walker, better known as Daisy the Great, who played the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection twice last year,...

“We love Philly!” says Kelley Nicole Dugan and Mina Walker, better known as Daisy the Great, who played the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection twice last year, with a March Date opening for half•alive at Union Transfer and a December date supporting The Happy Fits at Theatre of Living Arts.  However, earlier this month Daisy the Great kicked off the All You Need Is Time Tour.  The headlining tour is in support of the sophomore LP of the same name, which dropped last October, and will have the Brooklyn indie pop group at The Foundry at The Fillmore on Wednesday, May 10th.  This February Kelley and Mina took some time to chat with me over the phone about their second full-length and more.

“We really have no rules when it comes to style or genre, or whether it sounds too much like it would be us or not…  We like to be open,” says Mina, so when I ask her about the biggest differences between All I Need Is Time and their first LP, 2019’s I’m Not Getting Any Taller, she tells me, “I think we just learned a lot more.  Every time we make an album, we learn more about how to be a band,” admitting, “The beautiful thing about the first record, that I wish I could still do, is that a lot of it came out of just literally not knowing how to play a lot of music…  It came together in a really fun and piecemeal way.”  She tells me that the follow-up was very much inspired by all the time the band has spent on the road in recent years: “We recorded the first album without really having done much performing.  With the second album, the basis of it was the live band.”  And Kelley tells me that the positive responses the new music has gotten came almost immediately: “We were on tour, opening for The Happy Fits, and we were really, really blown away by how many people knew the words right away!  It was really heartwarming!”

Daisy the Great’s most recent music video, accompanying single “I Don’t Wanna Fall,” documents their 2022 North American tour.  “The music video is all footage that we shot on the road in 2022… It was really sweet to look back at all the footage,” says Kelley, before admitting that putting together these clips of the band having fun on the road actually created an interesting juxtaposition for those involved: “It was really interesting to reimagine the song with that as a visual, because that song is about a breakup.”  She also tells me that she and Mina went to acting school (at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts), which encouraged a healthy consideration for their visuals: “We’re just naturally drawn to story all the time.  When we’re writing, we’re always drawn to what the visual scene will look like.  It’s a way to show the song in a different light.”  However, Mina tells me that they’re both very happy to be working in music, where they get to make the decisions about their work, and get away from acting and, “People telling you if they want you, or being in other people’s stuff.”

Kelley even tells me that learning how to do the whole music thing, coming from an acting background, has been a major highlight of the band itself: “Being able to put out our very first EP was very, very exciting.  Putting out the first EP felt like a big hurdle about figuring out what it’s like to do things on our own… A lot of things that stand out are things that took a lot of bravery and focus to achieve.”  But she also admits that all of the playing live has been a huge highlight, as well.  “Experiences we’ve had opening for other artists have been really, really mind-blowing,” she says, going on to cite one particularly emotional experience: “’Playing ‘Time Machine’ – which, at the time, was unreleased – in like an arena setting and having the whole audience do the cell phone light thing…  We all came offstage and were all crying [laughs].  We didn’t expect anyone to be like, ‘We like this!’”  “Someone I went to high school with was telling me they like it, and we get so emotional at the thought of people listening to our music as music!” Mina adds.

“We’re hoping it’s gonna be awesome!” Kelley told me of Daisy the Great’s current tour during our February chat.  And for those who may have seen the band in a support slot last year, they tell me that you can definitely expect something a little bit different next month at The Foundry.  “Something we’re really excited about is having a full band with us, six as opposed to four, as we had been doing on support tours,” says Mina, while Kelley adds, “We’re planning to play a lot of the record we just put out, but also some older music.  I’m really excited to play a longer set.”  And while Daisy the Great plans to spend much of 2023 on the road, they also tell me that they’re exceptionally excited for the time in-between live jaunts.  “We’re really excited to start working on some new music after tour,” Kelley admits, while Mina tells me, “I love writing after touring.  After you perform a bunch, you’re like ‘Now I know what I want to sing!’”

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.