You know that feeling when you discover a new band? The one where it feels like someone has flipped a switch on inside your brain and suddenly a heavenly spotlight has been cast upon their name? And ‘Oh damn!’ you think – how on earth did you not know about their sweet precious tunes until now?
To put it simply, these feels were my very own upon coming across The Day Dreamers – an enchanting indie-folk band from Montreal, Canada. Hailing from all different corners of the West Island the band consists of 5 teenagers, Tiana Grandilli, Ali Kouri, Stephanie Maier, Cedric de Saint-Rome and Max Page-Slowik; all who uniquely bring delightful ingredients to their sound both instrumentally and lyrically. With dreamy harmonies, soothing violins and haunting acoustics this team of virtuoso’s will leave you in knots of emotions – a true testament to the power of music.
On April 22nd, The Day Dreamers dropped their debut album All Through the Night – a fusion of songs about love, adventure and loss that after just one listen had me daydreaming (ha) in nostalgia of wistful and spontaneous crusades with my best of friends.
Following its release I had the pleasure of talking to The Day Dreamers lovely, Tiana Grandilli. We had a good ol’ chat about their beginnings, their journey and their inspirations. So have a lil listen to some of their gorgeous tunes, turn up the volume and scroll down to be acquainted with The (one and only) Day Dreamers.
Courtesy of Yori DaVillas
So when were The Day Dreamers born and how did you guys come together?
Tiana: The Day Dreamers started with my best friend Ali and I, when we were in high school. It started up when we were in grade 10 and we began a band with two other people. At first it was just recreational and once we graduated we decided that we wanted to continue making music and playing music. We began to take it more seriously.
Was their any inspiration for your name?
T: We were kind of just thinking of a bunch of names one day and I was just so bored and not paying attention when we were trying to think of one and Ali was like ‘Tiana, stop daydreaming!”
If you could define your style of music without any restrictions of a genre – how would you describe your sound?
T: I would say that our music is very driven by vocal harmonies and the use of violin.
You obviously knew from a very young age that music was your passion. Have you always had the urge to perform and create music?
T: Yes definitely, I actually wanted to play music from the age of 3, and I would beg my parents to give me lessons and after two years of constant begging they finally put me into violin lessons and I did my first performance when I was five. Then after that I was addicted to performing! I have always been a very creative child and I am so happy to have found a group of friends that I can brainstorm with and create and bounce ideas off each other. It’s really great to work with them and they all have such great ideas –I am just so proud of what we have accomplished so far.
Being the violinist in the band, if you could play any other instrument what would you play?
T: I would love to learn how to play the saxophone! I think that would be pretty cool!
All Through the Night is pure magic! What was its creative process like? Was it done collectively or individually?
T: Usually when we get together to write songs, one of us will have an idea, whether that is a chord progression, a guitar riff or a lyric. I will have a bunch of lyrics written down and lets say my drummer Cedric will come up with some chords that he will be fiddling around with. So he will start to play them and I will look at my lyrics and be like “Oh this kind of has a mysterious sound and these lyrics I feel bring out the melody more” and my other band members will be like “Oh yes I agree” or “No I don’t”. It usually starts off with one idea – one of us will bring forth a musical component or a lyrical component.
How was the launch party for your album the other day?
T: It was so exciting! It was such an amazing turn out. There were so many people the place was packed packed packed! We were expecting a big turn out because we had made an event on Facebook and people had RSVP’d but there were so many more people then we were expecting! It was just awesome I had a blast; all of us had a blast. At the end of the night myself and my band mates Ali and Max were just sitting together and we were just like “Oh my god guys this is just the labour of our love and we have created this beautiful event!” We did everything – the promo, the album – we even designed the cover!
So yes, everything that has happened has just been so awesome. We have had just so many kind people that have given us a lot of our resources to help us and we are just so grateful that we have had a lot of support from the music community in Montreal and from our families as well that have allowed us to work and create this beautiful event that we had last Tuesday.
Listening to the album, you guys drew on experiences of love, adventure and loss. Do you think it’s important to connect to people through lyrics that they can find relatable?
T: Yes, I personally try to write from my personal experience. Obviously people don’t have the exact same personal experiences that I do but I hope that people will take comfort in knowing that some one else has gone through a tough time and that they will be okay and that they will be able to relate to the fact that someone else has written a song about their certain situation.
Do you guys have a favourite moment or track in the creative process of All Through the Night?
T: We write in our jam space, we all just kind of sit on the floor and then we will strum on guitars and I will have my violin in my hand. Because the album was written over a process of a year and a half there are a lot of memories…one of the coolest moments in our album process was when we wrote our last song, which was All Through the Night – the title track of our album. That song came together so quickly and at the end of writing it we all looked at each other and we were like wow! We finished it honestly quite fast, it was probably one of the fastest songs we wrote and we all were just like “This is a pretty cool song!”
What would you say All Through the Night best goes with?
T: Night time on the streets of New York City.
I’ve heard that you don’t have a manager, you’re self-managed?
T: No we don’t have a manager but what we have are called mom-agers – our mothers!
So what was it like breaking out into the local music scene on your own two feet then? Were there any challenges that you had to face at all?
T: Well we are rather young. Now that most of us are eighteen it’s a bit easier for us to perform at bars that are 18+. Our drummer, he’s sixteen so that’s the only issue, but most of the time they are okay with it. When we were younger though it was really difficult for us to be able to get ourselves heard in a place where no one knew who we were, so it was harder, but now people are kind of getting an idea of who we are. So that has been easier, but the whole accomplishment of everything we have done and the fact that we are so young has been pretty awesome. We couldn’t have done it without the help of our supportive family, our friends and the local venues that decided to let us play!
So do you think that having an online presence in this day in age is an important tool to expose your music?
T: Oh definitely, yes. Online is very important. That’s why we put our stuff out there – especially because we don’t have a record label or a manager, the online community is really how we are getting ourselves out there through our Facebook page and our Instagram.
Because you were so young when you started The Day Dreamers do you feel like you have grown both personally and musically since? Do you feel that your music style has developed since then?
T: Yes for sure. For me personally when we started I wasn’t sure if I wanted to play violin in the band. When we first started we were just playing covers and we did a cover of the Lumineers and I was like “Okay, I’ll play the violin part”, and then I started thinking, hold on, this is actually really fun playing the violin!
At first I was just going to play acoustic guitar in the background and sing but then I was like this is really cool, this is a nice element that we have. So the more we wrote songs, the more I realised that I could use the violin in a more modern concept. I personally completely changed my view on violin from just a classical instrument to something that could take a song to the next level. Now all our songs are pretty much driven by the violin and all of us I feel have grown as songwriters as well.
Our first song we wrote, which is not on the album because it was quite boring, was just really simple, so now we have been trying to think outside of the box. We try to not have songs that have the same chord progressions. We always try to change that up, so we kind of push ourselves all the time to do something different.
What I love is that no other band that I’ve listened to has the violin as one of their main instruments – it just gives a great unique sound to your music style!
T: Thank you that’s so sweet! That’s what I was trying to do – something different. Because you know most of the time its just guitar solos but what I like is the idea of using an instrument that you wouldn’t normally put in. These days it’s also really popular for saxophones to have solos and a lot of guitar solos and I don’t know a lot of songs that have the violin as one of their components.
Do you guys draw from any artists in particular? Who would you say is influential to your band?
T: I’m not quite sure if you’ve heard of the band Half Moon Run?
Yes I love them!
T: They are actually from around the same area we are from, so they inspire us. We have known about them for a long time, so we definitely take them as one of our inspirations. The band Daughter from Europe – we love them as well, we are really influenced by their songwriting and also their musicality. And we also take inspiration from Little Green Cars and another band called Milo Greene.
What would you say is your favourite thing about performing?
T: It just gives me such a high. It’s just such an amazing rush when I perform. Like you said before, people don’t expect or usually typically hear violin as the main instrument or solo instrument so I love playing for people that I’ve never played for before. I love playing really crazy and then just shocking them. It’s just so fun and we all look at each other, my band members and I and we are just like “This is pretty cool that they weren’t expecting that!”
So where do you see The Day Dreamers in 5 years? What do you hope to achieve?
T: In 5 years, I see The Day Dreamers continuing to play music and write songs, and most likely having released another album! I really hope that we will have had the opportunity to tour and visit many more countries, to have had the honour of gaining an international fan base and to furthermore be able to influence people positively through our songs. We all would truly love to do this for as long as we can so we hope that life will allow us to continue following our passion so we can create new unique music to share!
The silky harmonies and rich lyrics of The Day Dreamers cements them as a band with promise – a group of talented, young musicians that most certainly belong on the big stage.
Purchase All Through the Night now on iTunes.
For more on The Day Dreamers, head to their:
Facebook – facebook.com/thedaydreamersmusic
Twitter – twitter.com/DayDreamersMTL
Instagram – instagram.com/thedaydreamersmtl
Website – www.thedaydreamers.ca