Behind the music – Daisy The Great –

Indie folk act Daisy the Great play The Workmans Club, Dublin on September 15 and The Deer’s Head, Belfast on September 16. We asked them the BIG questions . . .

Tickets €20.00 including booking charges are available here.

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Kelley Nicole Dugan and Mina Walker first met as acting majors at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where they began co-writing a musical about a fictional band before realizing they could make it happen in real life.

Daisy the Great is now a six-piece rock outfit, featuring Matt Lau on guitar, Bernardo Ochoa on bass, Matti Dunietz on drums, and Brie Archer on additional vocals.

Their debut LP I’m Not Getting Any Taller was released in 2019 and since then, they’ve released the quarantine-born Soft Songs EP in 2020, as well as the recent Persephone/Scarborough Fair single.

Photo credit: Alistair Barrell

Daisy the Great’s second album All You Need is Time was released in late 2022 and their new album, All You Need is Time, is out now on S-Curve Records.

“Our music is generally pretty introspective, and we are often interested in the complexities or ironies we see within ourselves” the band say.

“That’s something we love about writing – you can say something small and delicate and true that maybe feels scary to say, but once you put it out there, it can turn into a comfort for anyone that might also be feeling that way.”

Tell us three things about yourself . . .

Kelley: I’ll tell you three things about the band, so I don’t leave Min out of this one! We both grew up in very musical households. My mom is an opera singer and Mina mom is a jazz singer, so we both fell in love with music and performing early. We met in college, studying acting at Tisch at NYU. We like to live out our acting and directing and editing dreams by having a big hand in creating all of our music videos. Our classic tour snacks are twin snakes and jalapeño chips.

How would you describe your music?

Mina: I think our music is driven by our lyrics and vocals. We generally sing in a double lead vocal, most of the time in harmony and outside of that we don’t really have any rules. We like to play with a lot of different genres and go song by song when we are finding sounds. Our approach to making music is what sounds and structures best support each individual song. Sometimes it leans more art pop, sometimes folk, sometimes it’s punkier. Most of the time it’s a mush of a few genres, but I think the vocals and lyrics keep the music cohesive and allows us to be super playful outside of that.

Who are your musical inspirations?

Kelley: My musical inspirations change from time to time but there are definitely some mainstays. I’d say Fiona Apple is a huge inspiration – I really love the wit and grit and heart in her voice and her lyrics. I also generally really gravitate towards a lot of harmony driven music and some early favs were Fleet Foxes, The Roches, Queen, Simon and Garfunkel, Mountain Man, Girlpool. I grew up in theatre and I’m definitely influenced by that as well. I love Sondheim. I actually saw Sweeney Todd on Broadway yesterday.

What was the first gig you ever went to?

Mina: I don’t know if this counts as a gig, but I grew up in New Orleans, and my mom took me to jazz fest when I was under a year old I think. I don’t remember it because I was a real baby, but my mom said I was in a sling strapped to her the whole time and seemed to have a great time. My mom is a jazz singer in New Orleans, so my earliest gig experiences were always going to her gigs around the city and seeing bands playing on the street.

What was the first record you ever bought?

Kelley: I’m gonna answer this in terms of a physical vinyl record – I bought my first real record around the time I went to college and I’m pretty sure that it was Procol Harum. Soon after I moved downtown for school, I walked by this guy selling records on the street near Astor Place and I bought a few. I’m pretty sure there was also a Fleet Foxes record in that first batch I got.

What’s your favourite song right now?

Mina: right now, my favourite song is Wrath Pinned to the Mist and Other Games by Of Montreal. I keep playing it over and over cuz it makes me happy. It’s a good bike riding song.

Favourite lyric of all time?

Kelley: I normally say the chorus of Life on Mars by David Bowie. I love that song so much that Mina even got me a jacket once and embroidered the lyrics onto the back of it as a present. Recently though, I’ve been really hooked by this Fiona Apple lyric from Love Ridden – “Love ridden, I’ve looked at you with the focus I gave to my birthday candles, I’ve wished on the lidded blue flames under your brow, and baby I wished for you”. It’s so good.

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Mina: Hmmmmm it would probably be something instrumental like one of the songs from Adrianne Lenker’s instrumentals. I put that on softly whenever I’m reading. I think I couldn’t play a really songy song over and over again for the rest of my life because I know I’d get sick of it eventually and that would make me sad. But I think if I had to choose one the one that I’d least likely get sick of is probably Harvest Moon by Neil Young.

Where can people find your music/more information?

Kelley: You can find us at or by looking up Daisy the Great wherever you listen to music! Our socials are linked on our website along with our music and music videos and tour dates. Thanks so much!

Alan Corr @CorrAlan2

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