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