Lucy Gaffney Announces New EP ‘Daydream In Tokyo’; Releases Title Track
May 26, 2023 BY Jason Currell
Lucy Gaffney returns today with new single ‘Daydream In Tokyo’ and news of a new EP of the same name to arrive on 29th September via Nettwerk.
Lucy Gaffney is no newcomer to the power of patience and pure intention. The Belfast native began releasing solo material in 2020, with two well-received lo-fi offerings recorded by The Coral frontman James Skelly. Fast forward to 2023 and ‘Daydream In Tokyo’ luminously marks her arrival. The first single from her upcoming second EP, it’s a pure-cut indie-pop gem every bit as Technicolour as Gaffney’s journey along the way.
Written when she was living in Liverpool, the song is an escapist anthem with a trajectory that takes you on a journey. Across three minutes, it captures how a potent sense of place far beyond can – even in one’s mind’s eye – be an antidote to the mundane. But for Gaffney, dreaming of Tokyo isn’t a knee-jerk lunge in the throes of wanderlust. Musing on walking through neon-lit streets, and singing ‘Thirteen’ by Big Star in a backstreet karaoke bar, it bears the physical imprint of the Japanese capital as channelled in her favourite film, Lost In Translation.
“I’ve always adored and been fascinated by its cinematography,” says Gaffney. “There’s so much depth in the mystery and ambiguity of discovering a foreign place. I find it hard not to completely relate to every scene. I can’t write unless there’s something inspiring me visually, so I wanted it to capture the aesthetic of the movie and, in a similar way, translate a relatability in everyday thoughts and relationships between people.”
WATCH & SHARE – Daydream In Tokyo (Official Music Video):
Nodding to Bowie’s ‘China Girl,’ and jangle-pop gems like ‘There She Goes’ by The La’s and The Pretenders’ ‘Brass In Pocket’ as influences for its classic style and structure – along with the subtle but powerful approach of contemporary artists like beabadoobee, Phoebe Bridgers and girl in red – the single is a feat of full-blown indie-pop finesse. It may not be the case for all of Gaffney’s songs but ‘Daydream In Tokyo’ is open-hearted and idealist to its core. It also doubles as an invitation to dig deeper and discover the full spectrum of her sound.
Hear new single ‘Daydream In Tokyo’ on streaming services below:
More about Lucy Gaffney:
“There’s a side of me that really likes writing in a darker way,” says Gaffney. “but there’s also a side to me that absolutely loves pop music and that feeling of elation when you are having a moment where you’re really up for a dance, and really rocking out to a tune. I was so heavily into the Cure and the Smiths, where every song is catastrophizing your own life, so that’s definitely worked its way into some of my writing. At the same time, making it pop is so much fun. It’s always been the big track that has turned me onto bands and got me hooked. It’s the lesser-known tracks that I fall in love with. The sad stuff is what you’ll give time to once you’re hooked on the tracks that make you feel elated. ‘Daydream In Tokyo’ is a song I want people to hear, then they can dig deeper.”
To record ‘Daydream In Tokyo,’ Gaffney flew to the Isle Of Lewis in The Hebrides, Scotland to record a bunch of her new tracks at Black Bay Studios with her brother Thom Southern and London-based producer Duncan Mills. “We had a lot of fun working on this track in particular and I think we captured a lot of that energy from the studio in the final mix,” she says. “I usually tend to construct songs with three tracks, meshing melodies and hooks together. Like on this song, I can usually just hear it in my head. I love deconstructing a track and blending things together, almost like a DJ would.”
Alongside Duncan Mills and Thom Southern, Gaffney tapped into the simple yet powerful majesty of the moment when she holed up in the secluded Black Bay recording studio on the Isle of Lewis last year. For two weeks, the trio worked around the clock to realise her vision for widescreen indie-pop that makes space for big hooks every bit as sonic points of reference such as Pixies and Pavement.
“The studio looked out onto the Atlantic ocean and hills of heather,” says Gaffney. “It was that kind of wild beauty you can’t really capture on your phone camera but you know you don’t want to forget. We’d wake up in the morning and record until 3 or 4 am some nights, so we quickly became a well-oiled machine where everyone had a part to play. Sure enough, we were like zombies by the end of it but I was always obsessed with that Exile on Main Street documentary as a kid so I was there for it. It was the best experience I’ve ever had in a studio, we all felt totally detached from society out there, no shops, no people, just the odd sheep or fisherman passing by. It was the “back of beyond.”
“My life this last decade has been so weird,” she says. “I’ve had really random experiences travelling with my music, like going to play in South Korea and stuff, I never thought I’d do that. I don’t know if my life will ever be as crazy as the last ten years but I love that it’s brought me to the point where I can finally understand more about myself. I’ve always sort of known the genres of music I’ve wanted to make from day one and I’m at the point where I can properly ask myself, ‘What can you physically do yourself and where can you go sonically?’”
“For me, the answer is telling yourself you actually need to embrace curiosity and do it now because there’s no better time than the present. As David Bowie once said: ‘If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting. I think I’m finally ready to embrace that.”
Lucy Gaffney – Daydream In Tokyo EP tracklisting:
1. Daydream In Tokyo
2. Just Friends
3. Make Me Smile
4. Boy Go
5. In A Sense