DozenQ – The Daydream Club

This entry is part 4 of 19 in the series DozenQ 4

Adam Pickering and Paula Walker met while studying at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA). They started performing together as The Daydream Club in 2010. Founding their own label ‘Poco Poco Records’ and releasing their debut album Overgrown in the same year. Overgrown deliberately aimed to strip away production layers to focus on songwriting and acoustic instrumentation. The album brought them critical acclaim with the duo being invited to perform live sessions for BBC Nottingham and BBC Tees.

01 How did you get started in music?

Adam: I’ve been involved with music for as long as I can remember. I knew quite early on that I wanted to do something with music or art. As it turns out, with The Daydream Club I get to do both.

Paula: I’ve always had music in my life. I was a bit of an instrument ‘starter’ growing up. I took guitar lessons, piano lessons, violin lessons and flute lessons but I never had the dedication or drive to follow a syllabus so I was also a bit of a quitter. After passing my music A levels I moved on to study dance so it wasn’t until a knee injury that I rediscovered my musical side.

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02 Where did your direction come from?

When we first started writing together we were creating electro/pop songs. It wasn’t until we did an open mic night for fun, armed with just two voices and an acoustic guitar that our direction changed. We received such a lovely response to our no gimmicks, intimate performance that we decided to explore this further. Our debut album Overgrown was created on this idea of honest, intimate, stripped-back music. From that introduction we’ve built on the sound, adding more instruments and dynamics and with each release we like to try and incorporate our electro side with a remix or a alternate versions.

03 Who are your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Wings, Simon & Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, Steve Reich, Moondog, Sufjan Stevens, Beck, Goldfrapp, Daft Punk, Ray Charles… we don’t like to limit our influences. Despise is a strong word, we’re not so fond of music that is more business than art but at the end of the day we are creators and not critics.

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

We never follow any set formula, we just see where a song takes us. There are no restrictions on sound as you can probably gather from our back catalogue and remix alter egos. One element that did influence some of the sound of our new EP Found was the instruments we had to hand. We had just invested in a mandolin and an accordion so naturally they were getting a bit of love on the recordings.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows?

Between the two of us we juggle instruments but the foundation is pretty much boy/girl harmonies, acoustic guitar, percussion and some added extra sprinkles form the likes of piano, melodica and glockenspiel. We like gigs to be personable so no matter the stage size we always try and include our audiences in some way shape or form.

06 How do you begin your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

This varies, some songs we’ve made up characters and fictional worlds and others are from personal experience. At this point its probably best to point out that The Affair from Overgrown is 100% fictional, Paula isn’t a knife wielding ‘cheating boyfriend’ killer!

07  How has your music evolved since you first began playing?

You could say its changed a lot. We were electro and now we’re acoustic (though we still like to dabble)! One day maybe the two sounds will join, who knows.

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you able to overcome this? If so, how?

We’ve had a few challenges come our way; stage fright, setting up a record label, releasing our own music, running our own fan funding campaign, creating our own artwork, creating a larger sound with just two people for live gigs… I could probably go on but you probably get the gist that most of our musical journey we’ve been out of our comfort zone in some way or another! We’ve overcome all of these things by just doing them, get your head down and get stuck in. You won’t accomplish anything if you don’t dare to try.

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

We do indeed play covers. We’ve already covered a song that we really love and like to think we put ‘The Daydream Club’ stamp on it. It was a bit of an obvious one (Skinny Love – Bon Iver) but its such a brilliant song we couldn’t resist.

10 Where do you envisage being in five years time?

We like to think we’ll be creating original music still, ideally on a larger scale. It would be amazing to collaborate with an orchestra at some point so that seems like a pretty decent 5 year plan for now. Time will tell.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

This is an easy one, George Martin. He’s not just an amazing producer but an awesome composer and arranger in his own right too. He created absolute magic with The Beatles, it would be pretty inspirational to work with him.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

Our new EP Found is released on the 28th October 2013. We’ll be playing a string of dates supporting The South, as well as a support date with Bridie Jackson and The Arbour and our own launch gigs in both London and Leicester.

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Live Dates 2013:

12th Oct: Supporting The South @ Apex, Bury St Edmunds
19th Oct: Supporting The South @ Warehouse24, Newcastle
25th Oct: EP Launch Party @ Paper Dress Vintage, London
1st Nov: Supporting Bridie Jackson & The Arbour @ The Vic, Saltburn
3rd Nov: Supporting The South @ Waterfront, Norwich
7th Nov: EP Launch Party @ The Donkey, Leicester

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