Sure, fairy tales have their Prince Charmings, princesses, and happy-ever-afters—but “they’re also darker than most people realize,” says Nikki Taylor, who fronts the Brooklyn-based synth-pop group, Little Daylight. “Dig past the sweet, saccharin exterior and you’ll uncover a world of weirdness.” The band, who borrowed their name from an old English tale, befittingly blends the lightness of upbeat pop hooks with the darkness of heavier, austere lyrics. We caught up with Taylor, who gave us the scoop behind Hello Memory, the band’s first full-length album (which dropped this week). Here’s an excerpt of our conversation:
Congratulations on the release—it’s out for the world to hear!
Thank you so much. It’s been ready for a while now—we finished it in February, so I’m just happy everyone finally gets the chance to listen.
Hello Memory‘s ten songs form a love-story narrative. What was your inspiration?
When we started working on the album last summer, we brought in a bunch of ideas we had worked on separately and began taking a look at everything. One of us had an ending of a relationship, so that proved to be a lot to write about and as we worked through everything, we became conscious of creating a story arc with characters that could take you through the album.
Who are some of your musical influences?
I was lucky in that my parents have really good taste in music. I remember my dad putting on a Neil Young CD and saying, “Okay, this is the greatest songwriter of all time.” I love Neil Young, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan—I love the canon of American songwriters, and then also electronic music. [Band members] Matt [Lewkowicz] and Eric [Zeiler] were influenced by electronica in the early 2000s.
We’ve had the song “My Life” on repeat at the office. What’s the story behind it?
It’s about doing what you want to do—a kind of freeing anthem. I had a very religious upbringing but was always the odd kid in class who wouldn’t buy into things and disobeyed the school uniform rules purposely. I guess that just felt true to my life and well, life goes on.