Reviewed by: Ziggy Merritt
Since the release of her first EP back in 2014, Daisy Victoria has accumulated a hefty stack of praise and anticipation. Often compared to art rock artists such as Kate Bush and PJ Harvey, there’s something distinctive, something wholly original to her own folktale-like upbringing and sense of self that sets her a distance apart from such comparisons. Her latest EP, Animal Lover, follows up on the hype with a quick three-track set highlighting her rowdy energy sharpened through and through by Pixies producer, Dan Austin.
Brash and swooping vocals open up the title track, giving some ground to that justified Kate Bush nod before the gush of guitars and vocal loops fill out one of her most indulgently fun tracks to date. It’s harder to divide the content of the lyrics through the brilliant pop punk pace of the production, but closer listening reveals some of the more surreal if downright bizarre facets of Animal Lover as Daisy sings of “koala clubs dancing in the hearth” and “Capuchin monkeys sleeping across his unmade bed.” There’s a controlled chaos here that never ventures into the realm of schlock but instead finds its spark in Daisy’s earnest delivery.
After the title track some of the hype fades into the background for “Holy Peace” and “Dark Water.” The former offers up a more post-punk flair but too often the heaviness of the production threatens to overwhelm. Similar things could be said of the latter’s more tame and vocal-forward drive. Neither reach quite the same height as the title track but if anything they don’t need to. “Animal Lover” rightly takes its place in Daisy’s canon as not just an indulgently fun cut, but perhaps the best effort to date in her burgeoning career.