Daisy Hicks releases’ Upside”
Daisy Hicks releases’ Upside”
Great songwriters possess the unique ability to constantly test themselves with the challenge of developing music and lyrics through different concepts, evolving and shaping their persona around the rich emotional palate that life presents them with. It isn’t just about conveying a message for these composers, it’s about capturing the essence of a feeling itself through delicately arranged instrumentation. Nowhere in music are there as many artists adept at this caliber of songwriting than in the jazz community, and among contemporary success stories, you could say Australia’s Daisy Hicks is one of the more remarkable ones. The daughter of critically acclaimed jazz drummer Tony Hicks, Daisy’s new track “Upside” is yet another stunning addition to her excellent catalogue of diversely inventive music.
For a lot of people, primarily those whose source of new music is mainstream FM radio, it’s difficult to understand jazz music’s place in the modern pop spectrum. Sure, the influence of jazz on many of today’s chart-dominating styles, genres and artists can certainly be heard when one analyzes closely enough, but the spirit of jazz’s structural complexities and intricacies are often, and unfortunately, lost in the translation. One could argue however, that in a time when more and more music is being produced through an overly digitalized lens, we could certainly use more of the dedicated passion that jazz ushered into pop music almost one hundred years ago. The particular tonality and texture of a song like “Upside” is fueled almost purely through that dedication, that immense attention to detail that is ever present with every strike of the piano keys. It’s a refreshingly breezy track too, especially in contrast to the dirge-heavy, grinding industrial production of a lot of 2018’s biggest pop blunders.
Some critics might want to liken Daisy Hicks to Norah Jones, and I don’t necessarily know if I could agree with them. It’s not that Hicks doesn’t have some the same knack for creating harmonious, catchy melodies that linger against a slow strutting percussion in the way that any fan of crossover jazz/pop songs loves. It’s that unlike Jones, there’s a uniquely out of the box vibe that Hicks brings to the table when she weaves the tapestry of her lyrics into the colorful tones of her music. Her style is steeped in an uninhibited and indie-inspired rebellion that is more akin to the conceptual theory set forth by the Duke or Miles than Norah Jones’ style ever was.
There’s only so much that freethinkers like Daisy Hicks can do to balance out their craft amidst so much discord in the artistic world around them, but “Upside” goes a long way to proving that there’s still plenty of depth and originality in this generation of creatives, despite the overwhelming trend towards laziness. Although I just became familiar with her discography through this newest release, I’ve instantly become a fan of her approach and am rather eager to hear how she further develops this sound as her already quite accomplished career continues to blossom even more.