“Where We Live” from Chicago’s Born Days is a dreamy, synth- powered gem flowered with airy vocals and an arresting charm. The mysterious voice backed by a myriad of organ sounds and vibes pulsating through the mind, body and soul. “Where We Live” (Rain Heart Records) is set for release this fall and it’s a sound that easily elicits images of colors and emotions.
Born Days is Melissa Harris. Her vocals are flighty, and she has a delicate nature to her delivery. In her biography, the singer states that she’s been compared to the likes of Princess Chelsea, EMA and Lana Del Ray. Regarding Del Ray, Harris’ prowess is not her confidence in her voice. Harris doesn’t seem to possess harshness or Sylvia Path-esque dramatics. Rather, Harris is matter-of-fact, and she has more elegance. When she hums and sings “ahhhhhhhhh” it’s melodic and she almost has an exasperation of love coming from her. The music tones – presumedly the Rhodes Wurlitzer and the Hammond organ she mentions (also in her biography) create layers of spellbinding dings and crescendo keys. In a world where music from Stranger Things soundtrack is making such an impact, it’s more than fair to say that Born Days cultivates a unique presence. She paints broad strokes with her synthesizers and chilling vocals, and it does create a mysterious, dark sound. Yet, she’s hopeful and her delicate approach is just as impactful. As a listener, I enjoyed the music bed a bit more than her lyrics – as I did have a tough differentiating some of the lyrics, but after a few listens, it all comes together nicely.
The accompanying music video to “Where We Live” starts out above ground with a retro boombox. The film itself seems to have an enhanced, warm features. As the story unfolds, Harris is underground in a tunnel of sorts with a very scary looking devil figure. Hues of reds embellish the film. At one point the devil follows Harris in an open field, above ground with slightly enhanced colors. It’s interesting the follow the colors and the filters, but at the music bed keys through, it’s obvious that these warm yellows and bursting blues are juxta positioned to the burning reds. The music vibe fits perfectly into this visual. Judging by the storyline, the devil seems to be always on our backs, and in the picture when it comes to decision making. Where we live, the video must ask the viewer, is how the decisions we make will change our world and the world of those around us. Perhaps that’s too deep but the music is thrilling. The “Where We Live” music video is directed by Phil Cagen.
While it’s certainly not a dance song, “Where We Live” is a wonderful amalgamation of guitars, synthesizers and keyboards. It’s a chilling song with a hopeful light at the end of the tunnel. Melissa Harris is mesmerizing in the video and her voice enchants. Fans of Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (OMD), New Order, Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin, Air and Bjork will find “Where We Lie” an enjoyable addition to their musical library.