Daisy Chains finished No. 4 overall in our 2015 Picked to Click tally with 33 points. Click here to read profiles on this year's other 11 winning acts.
If there really is a Picked to Click Curse, then it managed to hit Daisy Chains early.
Drummer Walker Neudorff ended up leaving the ER without a gallbladder just a few days before our interview. Reclining on a sofa in his bandmates' living room, he looks a little worse for wear but seems to be making a smooth recovery. He describes the laparoscopic surgery in his usual laconic manner and shows off a few new scars, causing singer-guitarist E.A. Bambery to wince with motherly concern.
Neudorff and Bambery began jamming just under a year ago in the spare hours between their respective bands, Tree Blood and Miami Dolphins, working out stray material Bambery had been compiling for years on the side.
In contrast to the hyperactive no-wave noise of the Miami Dolphins, Bambery's backlog of solo songs was decidedly mellower and marked the first time she felt confident showcasing her guitar work outside of a small group of friends. The rest of the band wasn't aware of the shelf life of some of the songs until after Daisy Chains played their first shows.
"I would have people come up to me after shows and tell me how excited they were that we were playing their favorite [Bambery] song that they thought they'd never hear again," Neudorff jokes. "We'd say, 'Wait, you've heard this before?'"
Bassist Allison Gunderson joined Daisy Chains a few months in, the result of thorough scouting. Gunderson was playing in the twee-core trio Vellhouse at the time, and Bambery started to track the group like a talent agent.
"I went to a few Vellhouse shows just to watch how Allison played, and then I'd report back to Walker," explains Bambery. "I was convinced that I wanted her in my band and as my friend."
The frontwoman and the bassist, now roommates, share warm smiles after that anecdote, and the easy chemistry between all three members is just as apparent musically.
Neudorff's cocktail drum style meshes perfectly with Gunderson's deliberate, Kim Deal-evoking basslines, giving a surf-y lift to Bamberry's jangling strums and rockabilly lead runs. The lower-key arrangements provide the perfect window for Bambery's incredibly distinctive voice, which calls to mind Holly Golightly and PJ Harvey but remains uniquely compelling, especially so on irresistible single, "Bye Babe."
As we wrap up the interview, the trio jovially discusses a home-recorded EP due out later this winter and its accompanying release show, errant gallbladder all but forgotten.