Our Song of the Day comes from singer-songwriter Juliana Daugherty with the title track from her forthcoming debut album “Light“. Her strikingly emotive voice begins the track immediately without an intro, accompanied by a singular piano note. Even when the bass guitar and percussion join the minimalist instrumentation, there is no overshadowing the power, conviction and beautiful range she has in her voice. Those vocal subtleties and variations amount to something so unexpectedly powerful and intimate, it goes beyond music, her love of poetry is surely an influence.
Daugherty explains more about the track: “‘Light’ might be the darkest song on the record, but I think it is also the most optimistic. The final lines of the song are about finding the drive to carry on through darkness and difficulty. In my mind, and in the song, this drive has more to do with biology than with any human determination or strength of character. Some might see this as a bleak outlook, but I think this is a beautiful thing—to remember that I am first a living organism, governed by the laws that govern all organisms, has always been a comfort to me.”
“I wrote this record partly to strip mental illness of its power,” Daugherty says. Though this statement seems contrary to the romantic tone of ‘Light’, it’s refreshing to hear an artist speak of their own depression with objectivity, unwilling to be charmed by the gloom. Daugherty wields her songcraft like a sword, not a diary to be buried in a drawer.
Initially walking in the footsteps of her trumpeter and violist father and mother, Daugherty grew up playing multiple instruments, even attending a conservatory before stepping away from classical music entirely. She went on to acquire an MFA in poetry – a fact not lost on Light. In many ways, poetry seems to be another musical instrument on the record, deepening the mood instead of merely floating atop it.
The album is due out on 1 June via Western Vinyl and was captured in the Virginia countryside by producer Colin Killalea who is known for his work with Albert Hammond Jr and Natalie Prass.
Pre-Order Light http://westernvinyl.com/
Photo Credit Tom Daly