Week in Pop: Born Days, Deep Cuts, The Hussy

Sjimon Gompers

The unforgettable fire, ferocity & phenomenon that is The Hussy; press photo courtesy of Scotify.

Born Days

The rise of Born Days, aka Melissa Harris; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Leading the future of Chicago’s influential undergrounds & breakthroughs of artistry, we have showcased works from Lykanthea, Fauvely & more that have introduced us to the cybernetic synthesis societies of truths & sounds of Melissa Harris, otherwise known as Born Days. Our introduction was a moody single that encased & crystallized Harris’s in an electric cocoon of psychic communications & sentiments that reverberate throughout the composition. The ambient air stream sustains of “What I Don’t See” play upon the fickle & faint glimpses of perceptions (along with all the limitations therein). Announcing news of the debut EP Be True available later this summer—we now proudly present the world premiere for Born Days’ “Analogue” that showcases a rich & expressive array of electro synths arranged in inquisitive sequence clusters that further illuminate the questions asked by Melissa in the cascading lyrics.

“Analogue” exhibits some of the most keen synth pop styles that point toward the latest developments in where electronic based developments in composition might be headed. Melissa arranges a wondrous blizzard wind of keys that sound like pure lights made in a harmonic congress between luminescence & audio elements. Questioning the regiments of what we have come to accept as our realities, Born Days brings about that feeling of starting anew in making better choices, seeking the criteria for those judgments, along with entertaining the conundrums of understanding future systems of knowledge. Melissa’s music pushes to the future, creating a soundtrack deserving of being in the new Twin Peaks: The Return to the dystopian odysseys that mirror our own shortcomings in our world’s ineptitude in all areas of civics, human rights, economics & so forth. Arpeggiating synths & stoic rhythm cues & sequences allude to a modern day futurism that exhibits a kind of Mad Max: Fury Road post-apocalypse that trade arid deserts for metropolises of decay in a world that feels like one expansive exclusion zone. “Analogue” is an electrified hymn for our time & for what might be our shared understandings (or misunderstandings even) of what tomorrow may bring. Join us after the debut for a candid interview conversation with Born Days’ own Melissa Harris.

Talk to us about the analogous & anachronistic components that inspired “Analogue”.

Well, I guess I called the song “Analogue” because a lot of the time we make choices based on what we see other people doing and we think that if they are doing it, that must mean we should do it, too. Sometimes it’s easy to think that if A equals B then B must equal C, but I think we need to break free from what we think we know based on what we thought we knew. The name is also a play on the analog synthesizers that inspired the instrumentation on this song, which I suppose make up the anachronistic components of the song. I am pretty obsessed with old-school and computer glitch sounds because I want my music to be a soundtrack for the apocalypse. I hope that people will think of it as dystopian pop music.

Stars, stripes & illumination with Born Days; press photo courtesy of Melissa Harris.

What sorts of truths & the like informed Be True?

Be True was inspired by everything that is going on in the world right now. Every time I listen to the radio or read the paper there is all this “fake news” and it just makes me want to completely disappear and become a total recluse. And I kind of did become a recluse when I wrote this EP because I had to write the songs, and then I had to learn how to mix and produce everything. I’m a really sensitive person and when I hear about really bad things happening in the world I get defeated, but writing music has really helped me and I hope people can find something to relate to in these songs.

Tell us further about your own employed methodologies involved in your holistic synth pop crafts.

Writing the songs often starts with just voice and piano. I usually record a little demo just using my phone, but from there I usually start thinking about the instruments I want to use or what drum samples and beat would really convey the feeling of the song. I also spend a lot of time building sample packs, programming synthesizers, and finding plug-ins that I think will make the overall production better. When I start working on a song it is really hard for me to stop.

Local Chicago inspirations & activism you would like to highlight?

My friend Fauvely is a huge inspiration for me because she and I started our solo projects earlier this year at the same time. I had to figure out how to play all of my songs live and she really encouraged me and I love her new EP. Also, Lakshmi, of Lykanthea is doing an awesome series of curated shows in Chicago right now called The Ace of Cups. She created the series because most of the city’s scene stays divided by genre or class or race, but she is being really intentional with the acts that she curates in order for the shows to be more inclusive and representative of Chicago’s truly eclectic scene.

the cover for Born Days’ Be True.

Next projects in the works from Born Days & beyond?

I definitely want to continue to make music and release an LP. I will be going on a mini tour in August and I am playing an EP release show at Elastic Arts in Chicago on July 26th. I am also an artist and designer, and I will have some original and limited edition cassette tapes, t-shirts, and buttons that I have designed in collaboration with local artist, Gato Squad, up on my Bandcamp very soon as part of the official EP release.

Born Days’ debut EP Be True will be available later this summer Bandcamp.

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