Meet Daine, Teen Angst’s Freshest Voice

The Aussie 17-year-old’s debut, “Picking Flowers,” is an E-girl bop.

daine needs a bit of an introduction—understandably so, given that she’s existed as a public persona for a mere 24 hours and change. On Friday, the 17-year-old singer-songwriter dropped “Picking Flowers”— her official debut as a recording artist. Written pre-COVID during a phase of self-imposed isolation, the track is a work of sparse, downbeat bedroom pop that’s subtly attuned to our times. 

daine (courtesy: Huxley)

Despite the brevity of her tenure, daine, styled in lowercase or as a hologram-plated logo, reflects multiple strains of adolescent angst: She cites a range of musical and stylistic influences, from Lil Peep to obscure 2000s rock. Her look, E-girl meets emo punk, is just as fresh and dynamic. 

Quarantined at home in Melbourne, daine is holed up in her bedroom—the natural habitat of any emo-leaning songwriter. On the occasion of her virtual unveiling, we caught up with her over cyberspace.

Tell us about the inspiration for “Picking Flowers.” 

I was spending a lot of time in my bedroom and a lot of time with my guitar. The riff came to me organically and seemed to align with how weird my heartache at the time felt. I didn’t consider structure; I rocked up to my producer’s house—still with a raw voice from crying—and a Note on my phone. I was like, “I need to track these.” I was tired. I was venting freely. We never re-recorded it.

When did you start making music? 

I started making music in March last year, around the same time I wrote “Picking Flowers.”  

Who are some of your musical inspirations? 

I’ll never get over how raw and how pure the early 2000s were—particularly the Midwest emo and skramz [or screamo] genres. Like Midwest Pen Pals, Merchant Ships, The Exploration. It’s hard to find, like, any information on a lot of these bands [but] they are quintessentially teenager DIY. 

Also, the channel YouTube Jommeez is a goldmine for inspiration. So magic.

Has this time period affected your creative process? If so, how so? 

I’ve been in my Melbourne bedroom, as per usual; It’s peaceful and I’m having fun. I haven’t really forced myself to write music during this period. I’m using it as an opportunity to ponder, put ink to paper, imagine different dimensions and places. 

Is there a certain song or artist you’ve been listening to more over the course of self-quarantining measures? 

Healing frequencies have been my preference over my regular music during isolation. They are so relaxing. My [frequencies] have been 835 Hz, for immune function, and 337 Hz for blood circulation. 

What are your career goals for 2020 onward? 

I want to play my part in diversifying the underground emo-trap sphere, because [the scene] isn’t welcoming enough yet. We need more women. We need more POCs. We need less boring. 

“Picking Flowers” cover art (Courtesy: Huxley)
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