Title: On The Home-Front
Artist: Rie Daisies
Release Date: 2014 Dec 27
Genre: Folk Pop
License: CC BY
Label: BandCamp / Jamendo

Introduction

Rie Daisies: On The Home-Front is a folksy, bluesy, Americana filled release conceived as a recording of inter-related songs that center around the stories of one family.  Whether the family is real or fictional is never stated, but the stories contained herein are an interesting modern perspective on the concept of family.

Rie Daisies: On The Home-Front

Rie Daises is an interesting musician.  The range of instruments she plays on this release are quite unique, and account for much of the folksy Americana feel of the release.  The instruments include: Autoharp, Flute, Organ, Clarinet, Bells, Piccolo, Piano, Keyboard, Percussion, Siren, Oboe, Bass Clarinet.

I personally cannot think of a release the included this instrumentation.  Certainly some of the woodwinds an brass instruments show up as harmonic backdrops on some releases, but being featured instruments, and played by the primary artist is not something that you hear every day…or any day for that matter.

From the Autoharp strummed opening of “Too Good To”, with it’s lyrics about youthful restlessness in a small town in America, to the closing Bass Clarinet, Oboe and Piccolo line of “People Passing (I Cry)” this is a release that is a unique experience of what America is like from an artist that has a unique perspective on the social atmosphere of our country.

What will grab the attention of most listeners is that Rie doesn’t sound like anyone else.  She is an artist that has developed a unique style all her own.  Yes, you might find the small homage to Bessie Smith, or note the call-and-response style of a song (like ‘Cleaning Song’), or find other tidbits here and there that borrow from other styles, but the fusion of them, and the arrangements are definitely hers.  There is definitely nothing like this that you will find on Top Forty radio these days.

But that doesn’t mean that these works aren’t approachable.  These are pieces that will resonate with the fans of KT Tunstall or Tori Amos. The directness of writing and expression that is found in these artists is found in Rie Daisies as well.

Favorite tracks on this release include “Too Good To”, “Room #15”, “Molasses, Lady Commotion”, and “People Passing (I Cry)”.  The last of these songs deserves special mention as the only song that wasn’t wirtten by Rie for this release.  It is still an original song, written by Davine Cochran, Rie’s grandmother, and beautifully arranged and performed.

The one thing that does end up bothering me a bit with this release is over-abundance of vocal processing effects used on this release.  Rie seems to have tried to make each character sound different through the use of vocal processing.  However, instead it would have been more true to the music if she had found other ways to communicate the difference in characters through her vocals: delivery style, phrasing, accents, etc.  The tracks that I found having more impact didn’t need the processed vocals.  Of course, this could also be a knee-jerk backlash reaction that I have to the over-use of things like auto-tune.

Conclusion

Rie Daisies is an artist force like none that I’ve encountered in a very long time. From a unique range of instrumentation and arrangements, to building on stylistic elements that many artists seem to have forgotten about these days.  This is a work that will have an appeal to fans of artists like KT Tunstall and Tori Amos, but beyond that Rie Daisies: On The Home-Front is a release that will appeal to a broad range of listeners that miss the idea of hearing a story being told to them by masterful writer.

Rie Daisies: On The Home-Front

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Rating

8.0/10
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Posted by George De Bruin

8 Comments

  1. A fantastic voice, reminds me of another artist in a way (Joni Mitchell) but in a nice way, and on some of the notes, the voice comparison is great (with my hearing) but only on some songs, but the full album is terrific, i really do hope that you can go further in your musical career, you deserve it

    1. Interesting, I didn’t think of Joni…but it’s fitting! Thank you for the comment!

  2. After listening through the album I loved reading the feedback! The analysis and observations of the musical styling and approach is impeccable for the factual observations and response. The unique styling of the music most definitely draws in a new view in the music culture. I love this new album and cannot wait for more to come!!!! I LOVE MS. DAISIES!!!-and keep the music flowing!! We’ll be listening!!!!

    1. Thanks for the comment. I appreciate that you have listened to the album and found my analysis to be appropriate. I really appreciate your feedback.

  3. Awesome review! I see your correlation to Tori Amos and the story aspect of the songs. Can’t wait to here more from Ms. Daisies!!

    1. When I wrote that portion of the review I was thinking about Tori’s story telling abilities for certain, but I was thinking also of her abilities to embody a character. An early example is “The Waitress” from Under The Pink, which Tori said at the time she was uncertain where it came from — but there was something about the character that would not leave her alone until she told the story. And, of course later, you have the Strange Little Girl’s album which was all about letting characters interpret / cover other people’s songs. And of course, Scarlett’s Walk — based on her experiences in “walking” through the U.S. after 911, which she did find specific characters to tell the stories she discovered on her journey. (Can’t tell I used to be a bit of a Tori geek, can you? )

      Thanks for your comment! I really appreciate the feedback!

  4. this is awesome, thank you!!!!

  5. seriously… Thank you so much for taking the time to listen!! This is amazingly well written and super thoughtful!!

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