Inspiration, intuition and breaking up: Daykisser takes us on a journey

A dreamlike, self-titled 4-song EP from evolving musical project Daykisser

By Shannon Seaton

It started as a kind of chant in his head that he said “kept calling.” Daykisser lead vocalist Jesse Wilcox knew he had to figure out how to make it a song. 

Wilcox suggests that a lot of times he must just sit with an idea and let it become what it wants to be. That is the way “Every Decision” evolved, the third track on the newly-released sixteen-minute EP from Daykisser. The self-titled EP Daykisser is comprised of catchy and intriguing musical arrangements – “Every Decision” even employs strings played by Basil Alter to round out the song and give it a little something extra. 

Portrait of Daykisser

Released on September 4th amid the pandemic, the EP evokes a dreamlike state – it allows the listener to really feel like a part of their journey.  

The album is about broken relationships, and while it is not based on any specific relationship, it is certainly rooted in the emotions that follow the demise of a relationship. The entire EP suggests the idea of moving through a relationship from exciting beginnings to the “Falling Out,” the first song on the EP.  

Peter Armstrong points out the dichotomy of upbeat music and sad lyrics. He says they “make you look a little closer at what the song is trying to say.”  The stories in his songs, Wilcox says, are like a “canvas to project your own emotions onto.” When asked where the stories come from, Wilcox and Armstrong agree that they play out scenes in their heads. Of course some are partially autobiographical, but overall they are exploring the realm of how things could play out.  

Daykisser the band is a three-year old evolving project with a fresh sound and almost ambient feel. The band is comprised of Jesse Wilcox on vocals and guitar, Kenneth Piper on guitar, James rose taking up the bass, Peter Armstrong on keys, and Michael Todd on drums. Their first full-length album, Selfhood, was released in December of 2019. Their sound is rich and exciting, with compelling key arrangements and unique percussion. The sound is something that is intuitive to the band; the influences are varied and differ from member to member.  

Daykisser EP cover

Daykisser from Daykisser

Released September 4, 2020, recorded in Memphis, TN. 

Strings by Basil Alter 
Mixed by Calvin Lauber 
Mastered by Matt Qualls 
Album art by Noah Miller

Listen and download Daykisser’s EP here

When asked what influences his writing, Wilcox states that he avoids listening to other artists while he writes. Armstrong chimes in that the band as a whole draws inspiration from a wide spectrum, “from (Atlanta heavy metal band) Mastodon to easy jazz,” as he says. This personality and influence melding is likely the reason Daykisser is so easy and enjoyable as a band. They feel as though they are for everyone.  

Recording during a pandemic provides its own challenges. The band had a date with Calvin Lauber at Young Avenue sound, but that all had to change.  The EP was recorded mostly from their homes and mastered by Matt Qualls.  

Armstrong and Wilcox agree that there was a creative lull linked with the pandemic that they all felt. Wilcox suggests that he had his own reservations about putting out music during such a difficult time. He says he struggled to find the balance between perfection and humanity. The struggle comes through in the music, and Daykisser managed to put out something to connect to, feeling almost like self-care in listening to something that is internally focused on subjective emotions. 

It is so easy to think of everything going on in the world and forget to think about things happening within us. This EP allows a little space to do just that.  

Listen and download Daykisser’s EP here from Bandcamp. You can also hear Daykisser’s self-titled EP on the following music platforms: Apple Music and/or Spotify

Shannon Seaton contributes to StoryBoard’s SoundBoard. Shannon has a Master’s Degree in Literature, grew up in a very small town in rural Tennessee, moved to Memphis at 18 and didn’t look back. “I fell madly in love with the grit and soul of this city.”

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