Boston indie rock outfit The Q-Tip Bandits just released their new album single "Daisy," from their forthcoming album "Melancholy Flowers", and to celebrate we asked Leo Son to tell us about the song. Here is the story:
The initial spark for this song came after a visit to a childhood friend in Brooklyn. I was 2 years into my recovery from drugs and alcohol at the time and I hadn't seen her in around 6 years and I noticed that her current lifestyle reassembled more of who I was when I first met her. All her brilliance, honesty and compassion were still ever present but now masked by a chemical lethargy. Still shining in her warmth and loving energy, still trying to help others find self love, belonging and the light within themselves. We spoke for hours about old friends, family, and what bands we were listening to, and she explained to me why the acoustic versions of Mac Demarco's "Still Beating" and "This Old Dog" are better than the studio versions, and why my favorite Hippo Campus songs are their worst. I played for her a handful of songs I had been working on at the time, some of which became the songs in our debut EP "Ain't It Great", and shared about my hopes about putting a band together and she urged me to move forward fearlessly.
Reflecting on my visit while driving back home to Boston, I thought of my mother and her unconditional love despite the suffering this life has brought her. I thought about all my friends who struggle but still manage to show up for the ones they love. I thought about how so many of us, through our search for meaning, find solace in religion to then have that same religion condemn us. Then I thought of myself, and the years and years of masking my own pain with a warm smile and my own search for meaning and falling out of organized religion.
Then some time later, I sat down with this feeling and wrote the chorus to "Daisy". For this friend and all the people who have masked pain and who continually put themselves second to show up and bring light into other people's lives to say, "I see you" and "you are not alone." Musically, "Daisy" has sparse verses that balance out the warmth and fullness of the later sections, while at the same time expressing the "cold" and lonely searching for that same light that is only found through our relationships and the helping of each other. The climax of the song, a half time section of sweeping guitars, reverse piano, big drums, melodic bass and horns, delivers an entanglement of tragic lyrics and uplifting melodies to carry us into the end of the song.
For me, the ebb and flow in the energy and music in "Daisy" reflects the tone of an internal conflict. Both the empowerment of a decision made and the grief and pain of letting go of what could have been.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the video premiere later this week, as well as the new album here