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There is something incredibly charming about Dannika’s debut EP For Peaches. Lo fi music often wins hearts with its earthiness but playing on the heartstrings is something different all together.
Whether it’s the combination of her wistful vocals with the flanging guitar, her simple but poignant lyrics, the feeling that this was recorded in her bedroom or her lounge or some other comfortable place in her home, there is something intimate about For Peaches that gets under your skin. It’s raw, heartfelt, sincere and imperfect in the most perfect of ways.
The delicate and wistful aura of Dannika is arresting, and her debut EP For Peaches is something to cherish for ages.
Recorded with the help of fellow Melbourne based lofi duo Good Morning, Dannika has really discovered the essence of her genre in For Peaches. The mixing is about as earthy as it comes. It is hard to tell whether the guitars are in tune all the time, her voice is far from crisp and there is a distinct scratching which we are told is as a result of the recording being done on cassette tape but for some reason all these would be flaws only add to the abundant character that makes For Peaches so great.
One of the great pitfalls of modern music is the lack of soul or character. So often artists and their artistry seem worlds away, removed from reality and from the day to day of its listeners. For Peaches on the other hand is so firmly planted in reality that is evokes a powerful personal energy from both the artist and the listener. Such connections these days are a diamond dozen and the strength of For Peaches lies in the simplicity of the connection that is made through the music and lyrics.
The lyrical content of For Peaches revolves around the trials and tribulations of life and love. All of the songs are about Dannika’s relationship with people or a person who she clearly cares about deeply. St Kilda Sunrise speaks of the anxiety that comes about from the separation from a lover, Next to You speaks of a person possibly seeking love in the wrong place, Cake is a joyful but cautious love letter and Goodbye Darling is the realisation that love is lost. If this whole album was written about one person, it really is a wonderful personal and raw insight in to the ebbs and flows of a floored romance.
Dannika has said that most of her lyrics are pulled from journal entries that she has compiled over time and that comes through in the beautiful lyrics on display throughout the EP. The most poetic of the tracks Next to You includes lines such as “lets get lost, in these sheets, in your playground of dreams, and I’ll breathe in you, as you breathe in me” and perhaps the most sure of itself track in Goodbye Darling shares the following heartfelt insights “There’ll be things that ill miss, things I won’t have to, I guess where right back where we started, know I’ll always love you, it’s what we almost were, it’s what we will always be”. These are just snippets from a wealth of touching personal sentiments that make up For Peaches’ resonating lyrics, which are an incredibly prominent feature of the EP and Dannika’s songwriting ability.
The instrumentation on For Peaches is melancholic in line with the subject matter. The tracks literally consist of what seems to be a single guitar using flange effects, a small drum kit, some subtle bass and Dannika’s vocal, which is supported briefly in St Kilda Sunrise and Next To You. This lack of instruments may lead some listeners to believe that mixing this EP wouldn’t have been that difficult but it is actually mixed intricately to secure an inexplicable poignancy. Dannika’s vocals are delicate and need to be heard. To the credit of the boys from Good Morning who have helped Dannika on For Peaches, their lofi expertise allows Dannika’s wistful vocals to remain in the fore of all of the tracks and clear enough for all of her vocals to be decipherable to the ear.
For Peaches is an excellent first effort from an immensely talented artist. Sentimental, personal and infinitely accessible, Dannika tugs on your heart-strings with her reflections on life and love while also displaying immense lofi finesse. The combination of elements on For Peaches creates a deeply personal and enjoyable listening experience that is at times both baffling and mesmerising in its beautiful simplicity.