This #NowPlaying pick appears on today's episode of All Songs Considered.
The year is 1997. Chokers and knee socks are in, but so are capri pants. There are not one, but two volcano disaster movies (Dante's Peak and, uh, Volcano) in theaters. Daria and Buffy are on TV. You turn to the lower end of the dial to find The Sundays and Saint Etienne on college radio, then click up a few notches to find Natalie Imbruglia, The Cardigans and Everything But the Girl. We were living in 1997.
Daisies‘ “Is It Any Wonder?” — the first single from its forthcoming record Great Big Open Sky, out May 12 — lives in the terrestrial bleedthrough between ‘90s twee and Top 40, and makes apologies for neither. The song is one of those pop music magic tricks that could only exist with that decade in the rearview: A coffee-shop bop subtly morphs into a countrified singalong before a ‘60s retro-chic takes us back to a Mellotron melody and a full-on hippie jam. It's a vintage ‘90s patchwork dress in pop song form, especially when Chris McDonnell's (CCFX, CC DUST, The County Liners) production so brilliantly mimics the era's proclivities, but Valerie Warren's lilting, hiccuping vocal delivery sells the song's bittersweet ennui with a sweet-and-sappy sophistication.