Get To Know Harriet Of UK Indie Rock Trio Danica Dares
We chat to Harriet, lead singer and lyricist for the band Danica Dares, based in the North-East, UK in the run-up to their next single.
Tell us about your new single 'Paranoia Party' out on January 29th - what's it inspired by?
There’s no escaping the fact that this song is the product of lockdown. It explores feelings of intense loneliness to the point of mania, something that will resonate with many of us coming out of 2020. Being stripped of distractions and interactions has taken some real adjusting too and I wrote this song in the clutches of isolation. The process of doing so was, ironically, quite comforting! Although lockdown certainly inspired the single (and provided the space and time to write it) the meaning of this song delves into something much deeper and ever-present; the pervasive feelings of social anxiety and the fear of being excluded. I think these are feelings that most individuals experience at some point in their lives, lockdown has just raised them to the level of national consciousness. I don’t want to get too heavy though, this song is also quite theatrical! I’ve actually just shot the music video for this song (a bit DIY thanks to lockdown) and I spend quite a lot of it talking to myself in mirrors. That just about sums up the past year for me…
Harriet, what's the first record you bought?
I think it was ‘In Time: The Best Of R.E.M’. I was 12. Nightswimming was the perfect ending and I loved that big old blue moon on the cover.
If you had to describe Danica Dares' music in 3 words what would they be?
Mysterious. Theatrical. Frank.
Do you play any instruments?
Bit of a sore point that, I got to Grade 2 piano as a kid and was then advised by my teacher to stick to singing. Quite crushing for a 10 year old to hear. But she was almost certainly right.
Where's the best place you've lived?
Madrid! Long evenings outside eating olives and cheese, swigging beer. What’s not to love?! Madrid has some amazing music venues and jazz bars - there’s a jazz festival every year in November, I saw some incredible performances in hidden bars dotted around the city.
What circumstances or events make you write songs?
Here comes the ‘L’ word again – lockdown has been a time of real productivity for me in terms of writing. I’ve had so much time to sit with myself and reflect on my experiences. So instead of being down the pub with friends, I’ve been alone in an attic (VERY basic recording studio) toiling away and writing down how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking. My aim is to create music that is honest, fun, dark and performative and all my lyrics draw on personal experiences and the observations of those around me, exploring themes such as self-reflection, discovery, love and loss. Writing has been such a necessary outlet and a ‘friend’ of sorts in such a strange, disorientating year.
Have you always been involved in music?
In some capacity yes. I did lots of singing and acting growing up and singing has definitely been a bit of a sanctuary for me. But to be honest I started to neglect that side of me until recently - Danica Dares has been my musical resurrection!
Which artists are you most inspired by and why?
I grew up listening to lots of influential female vocalists, predominantly jazz singers – so Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan, Diana Krall, Etta James, Dinah Washington, Barbara Lynn - the list goes on. In what is largely a male-dominated world (and industry for that matter) female jazz singers have always held their own, telling powerful, raw stories which immediately captured my imagination and emotions as a child; that has remained unchanged.
What are your favourite ways to relax and unwind?
Watching crime documentaries about serial killers. I’m not joking.
I mean options are slightly limited at the moment but a good documentary, a pint of Guinness or a very long walk in the countryside and I’m sold.
What's next for you musically - do you have many plans for Danica Dares?
Yes, Danica Dares has only just begun and we have lots of plans! I think the main aim right now is just being able to get together as a band, in the same room, to work on more music. Then I want to get out there and gig in venues across the North East and beyond, so let’s see how things pan out in the coming months…
Ahead of any “official” network-wide release, the entire album ‘Curating The Lunatic’ from Danica Dares is currently available to buy on Bandcamp for £5
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Follow Danica Dares on SPOTIFY NOW TO HEAR ‘PARANOIA PARTY’ ON 29th JANUARY 2021