While some projects require scheduling strangers to meet in a room and create music for the first time together, others simply flow out of natural progressions of life.
This is the case with The Dailys’ first release as a duo. Ellie Holcomb and Jillian Edwards are fast friends, pre-existing co-writers, touring partners and two women who have lived through many seasons of life together.
Holcomb and Edwards told American Songwriter their first project as The Dailys gives voice to their friendship as women and musicians whose musical style, voices and passions already blend so well.
“These songs really come out of our friendship. Our writing and creative space coincides exactly with our friendship, they’re one and the same,” Edwards says. “It doesn’t feel like a big new thing to take on, it’s more that we’re just giving a name to something that’s already existed all these years, and sharing it.”
The pair have written songs for each other’s individual projects, for film and television, and have toured together, opening for Holcomb’s husband’s band, Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors.
But according to Edwards, this project brought a new sense of freedom to “chase down” whatever path the songs directed, rather than coming into the process with a pre-existing notion of where the project should go.
“Coming together and having the freedom to have this other outlet where it didn’t need to fit any specific pretense or mold, it felt like it unraveled in such a beautiful, natural, freeing way,” Edwards notes.
The songs pour a new sense of nourishment on listeners with lyrics and melodies that speak to new narratives and personal stories from Edwards and Holcomb.
“One of my favorite things about this project is that it is doused in empathy. Empathy for the full scope of what it means to be human, and what it means to be a woman in some ways because I think that women are, in a beautiful way, very powerfully empathetic,” Holcomb explains.
The pair craft instrumentation around melody the majority of the time, Holcomb continues, taking great care with the way their two voices relax into harmonies.
While the project is not strictly faith-based or labeled as religious, both Holcomb and Edwards emphasize how the creation of art uncovers the beauty of life, and at the root of beauty is the tenderness of God. The duo’s writing portrays the vastness of human emotion and what it is to feel and accept the reality of existence, the weariness and joy it brings, but to ultimately not give those feelings the power to define existence.
“I hope people hear echoes of ‘you are not alone,’” Holcomb says. “No matter where any of us are, there is a current of love that we are able to settle into, whenever we want to recognize it, and I think that’s what we were doing when we were writing these songs—settling into that current of love.”