I first met Lady Daisey at an open-mic in 1997. She was singing solo then, with acoustic guitar, and her voice struck me immediately as special. There was a parallel with Samantha Jones, whom I’d first heard as a freshman at UF in 1995. They worked in roughly the same range, more or less, with voices like hand-made bells, or really clean brass. Jones has a depth of serious blues in her–Joplin-esque, but that’s maybe too easy. Her vocals have always leaned toward the meditative, inward-looking and almost content. Daisey’s are the same, but in a slightly higher pitch.
It makes perfect sense, then, that Daisey’s voice would be the first to make an impact after I’d left that setting. Jones was then one-third of The Crustaceans, an exquisitely democratic unit who made an album’s worth of stellar stuff before splitting, while also playing in Vanbuilderass, in addition to a whole bunch of other groups I personally never got to see. She is now the leader of Cassette, wherein her voice borders on somnolescent amidst a comfy calming cushion of twang and tremolo. (Their self-titled debut was released in 2005 , on Bakery Outlet Records; their second, Shining Like A New Dime, was released last year.)
I wondered what Daisey’s voice would become, and now we know. She met and married Britt Traynham, aka Batsauce, whose work is probably an elemental force for anyone who’s actually reading this now. The instrumental albums he’s released on his own in the last few years (Spy Vs. Spy,) are basically perfect. As a producer, he’s shown a gift for bringing the most out of vocalists. His collaborations with Patrick Evan (Aerial Tribe, Spooney) helped cement the singer’s rep as an undisputed master, while also serving as the first explicit example of what Batsauce could do.
Daisey and Batsauce, together, have worked as Heavenly Noise since the early Bush years. Not long after, they began collaborating with Paten Locke, who almost needs no introduction but gets one anyway. As a member of the ABs crew (aka Alias Brothers, aka Asamov–I’ll never let Isaac Asimov’s estate slide on that aberrant bullshit), which worked like Voltron throughout the past decade, Locke helped carve a niche in hip-hop that runs deeper than the grooves in Abdullah the Butcher’s forehead. His official solo debut, Super Ramen Rocketship, was released by Tres Records last year, with the follow-up coming soon.
As The Smile Rays, the three of them have got industry ears ringing with the sound of steady sales. They’ve worked all over the US and Europe over the last three years, with the constituent elements covering even more ground. It’s a lot like the Black Kids, another regional act whose intelligence tireless hustle (not to mention expert delegation of responsibility) helped them transcend the usual geographic typecasting and establish themselves as viable talents in the global music market.
And now it’s Lady Daisey’s turn at bat, with a new album en route and a return to her native Florida in the works. Here (slightly edited) follows the press release for In My Pocket, due out May 24 on BBE Records. The lead single, “Magical”, is due out May 7; the five-song EP includes remixes by bandmates Batsauce (who produced the whole album) and Paten Locke, as well as DJ Vadim and De La Soul associate Supa Dave West.
As much as Lady Daisey travels the globe, she’s learned to keep life simple and travel light. The most important things are weightless – love, life, music, inspiration, peace – all of which she keeps in her pocket. Sharing her unique vision with an even more unique voice, Lady Daisey’s solo debut is filled with a sense of adventure, passionately singing about her experience as a woman, a traveler, a survivor, a dreamer, an optimist… all over hip-hop infused soul music.
After meeting the love of her life on stage (Batsauce – husband/producer) it seemed only natural to pack their bags and hit the road. With a studio small enough to fit in a backpack, they have written and recorded this album, all while bouncing around the States, Europe and Asia.Both Lady Daisey and Batsauce are also part of the Smile Rays (Rawkus/6-Hole/Jakarta/Subcontact) along with Paten Locke (aka Therapy) After recording a track with George Clinton and being selected as Rawkus 50 artists, they quickly won the hearts of the indie hip hop scene. This raised the bar and now it’s time for Lady Daisey to share her songs with the world. She does just that with her debut solo album “In My Pocket”