Days Are Done
ONE of the first things I wanted to find out from…
Days are Done related to their name and its connection to Nick Drake’s song, Day Is Done. Emmy and Adam explain their love and admiration of Drake and provide a window into their favourite artists. I learn more about the new song, You, and how that came together. Based out of Kingston, the duo talks about their D.I.Y. aesthetic and how the songs all come together. Having supported the like of Michael Kiwanuka, I was eager to discover their fondest memories and what touring has been like.
They talk about future plans and what we can expect from their forthcoming E.P. I ask how they spend their downtime and whether they feel their recent recordings are a step forward from their earliest work.
Hi, guys. How are you? How have your weeks been?
We spent yesterday filming a video for our next single, Colours, in and around where we both live in Kingston – so we’re pretty tired today!
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
Adam: We’re Days Are Done. We’re a Folk/Americana duo from Kingston. I’m a singer-songwriter and T.V./film composer; originally from South Wales.
Emmy: …and I’m Emmy: a singer-songwriter from Blackpool.
You both hail from different parts of the U.K. How did Days Are Done come together?
Adam was in another band. I went to one of their shows with a mutual friend. We got chatting ad starting doing a bit of writing together – and before we knew it we’d formed Days Are Done!
We definitely were both at a stage where we’d had enough of being in bands and we were pretty reluctant to do it again at first.
PHOTO CREDIT: G. Morton
Living in Kingston-upon-Thames; am I right in saying songs come together in your front rooms?! It seems like a rather dignified and homely creative process!
That’s about right.
It all starts very simply – with a guitar and us singing. Even when we come to record, we tend to record those bits first and then just add anything else we think would be nice afterwards.
How important is that D.I.Y. approach? Do you think your music would sound as pure were it laid down in a studio?
Adam: Our first single (Turns to Dust) was recorded in my front room. It’s tricky doing it ourselves, though. We record our vocals at the same time so pressing record and then trying to run around the sofa to the microphone – before the song starts isn’t the easiest thing to do!
For this E.P., we did go into a studio but our producer, Sean Genockey, quickly recognised that we needed to capture that live energy.
So, we stuck to the same principles – and we think the E.P. sounds ace!
Obviously, your moniker is inspired by the Nick Drake song, Day Is Done. How did you two discover him and which album of his means the most?
Emmy: Adam tried to sell me Nick Drake for ages – and when I finally listened I became a little obsessed! I binged on all his records for about two days.
Only then did I look him up, and when I realised he died before I was even born, I was heartbroken!
I think Pink Moon is both our favourites, actually.
You is the new single. What can you reveal about the song’s origins and inspirations?
Adam: You was written right at the beginning of Days Are Done – it was one of those songs that we wrote in about half an hour. It was a beautiful sunny day in Kingston and I think we were sat in the park. Kingston has kind of an ‘Old vs. New’ vibe – a lot of history but it’s also constantly evolving and I think you can hear those influences in our writing – and especially in You.
Does this mean there is a new E.P. on its way very soon?
It’s called Closer and it’ll be out towards the end of August.
How would you say your latest material move on from your earliest recordings? Have you grown in confidence, would you say?
When we write, like a ton of people, we just record voice notes on our phones. Put it this way: if noone ever hears those early recordings, I’ll be a happy man!
So far, you have racked up an impressive amount of gigs and supported Michael Kiwanuka. Obviously, performing is something you love doing. Is that where you feel most connected and alive? What has been the most memorable gig so far?
Emmy: We LOVE playing live.
We love the studio, too, but there’s nothing like getting in front of people and feeling them connecting to your songs. People always comment on the connection we have to each other on stage – but a lot of the time what they’re seeing is just the joy of performing.
We really love doing it.
Adam: Most memorable gig so far, I think, has to be supporting Michael Kiwanuka as it was in our hometown of Kingston – although our first show supporting St Paul & the Broken Bones was important.
It was our first show on a big stage and I think it taught us a lot. It also reassured us that although our live show is quite intimate it easily translated to a bigger arena…
PHOTO CREDIT: G. Morton
What does the rest of the year hold in terms of dates and festivals?
Emmy: We have a few festivals coming up this summer – it’s our first festival season as a band. We’re particularly looking forward to Glastonbury – we play six shows in three days, so that should be fun!
We’re also heading up to Stornaway in July to play Hebcelt – which we can’t wait for!
Do you two get a chance to decompress from music and how do you spend your free time?
Adam: At the moment, the only free time we seem to have is reserved for a few hours’ sleep!
Emmy: Same. I have very little spare time but I like to either read or watch really gory horror films. I find them relaxing!
PHOTO CREDIT: Gareth Morton
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Adam: I’m not sure he’s super-new but everyone should check our Rory Butler. We’ve played with him a couple of times – he’s really a wonderful songwriter and performer.
If you had to select the one album that means the most to you; which would they be and why?
Emmy: Probably Dusty in Memphis, for me (although I maybe give a different answer tomorrow).
The vocal, the songs…everything. I felt an immediate connection the first time I heard her voice.
Adam: Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
What is there to say? It’s sort of the soundtrack to my brain!
What advice would you give to any new artists starting out right now?
Emmy: Not really sure either of us is qualified to give advice on that subject but just generally, if you’re an artist,
I guess, create and share as much as possible. You can never have too much art!
Adam: Work hard – they’ll always be someone working harder – so crack on!
Finally, and for being good sports, you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Emmy: I’m having a BANKS kind of day so I’ll say BANKS – Gemini Feed
Adam: Jason Isbell – 24 Frames
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PHOTO CREDIT: G. Morton