Most creative endeavors are marathons, not sprints. It’s carefully honing a craft until it truly sparkles. This is both the method and madness for Brooklyn’s trio, Little Daylight. By fashioning memorable and jarring pop melodies with confident and engrossing live performances, the newcomers are carving out their own little slice of sunshine with their debut album, Hello Memory.
“When we first formed, which was the day we started writing ‘Hello Memory’, the three of us each dumped our mental baggage onto the table,” said guitarist Matt Lewkowicz. What followed was the slow and arduous process of deciding what worked and what didn’t, carefully defining what Little Daylight would be. “The way that we work is a lot of trimming that goes on.”
What resulted is a bombastic album comprised of unforgettable rhythm-oriented melodies punctuated with smartly arranged layers of synth and guitar. Grounded by Nikki Taylor’s sultry vocals, each song is a carefully calibrating experiment in atmosphere, and it’s determined to take you places. The album’s single “Overdose” is a humming, thumping, cascading call-to-arms on the dance floor.
Like the album, their live performances strive to be accessible while readily offering something new, incorporating extra drums and numerous opportunities for audience participation. “When we listen to music, we try to figure out what’s behind it,” said Lewkowicz. Their performances, although offering polished pop tunes, attempt to stay as tactile and raw as possible, communicating their ideas directly. “For a band to create a passionate fanbase they have to be larger than life and one of the greatest elements of that is putting on a great live show.” If anything transcends in their live sets it is clearly seeing artists do what they love, that authenticity doesn’t take much rehearsing.
“The final places that you get to with all of these songs are going to be happy places and it doesn’t matter how hard it was to get there,” said Lewkowicz. True enough, the album is a surprising journey. “Siren Call”, for instance, begins as an off-kilter droning shuffle that somehow slinks into a bouncy ’90s thumper sprinkled with electronic flourishes and a guitar hook that would make Haddaway blush. Lots of bark and even more bite.
“Hello Memory is about moving forward,” said Lewkowicz. “But there’s very much a nostalgic element to [it].” With familiar songs that don’t veer into cliche, bright and arresting arrangements that aim to resonate days, weeks and months later, and a directive to neither follow the herd nor fade into obscurity, Little Daylight clearly won’t be little for long.