The debut album of Daisy Jones & The Six, the fictional band from Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel of the aforementioned name, is finally here. The band consists of lead singers Daisy Jones (Riley Keough), Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin), Eddie Longtree (Joshua Whitehouse), Karen Sirko (Suki Waterhouse), Warren Rojas (Sebastian Chacon), and Graham Dunne (Will Harrison). Produced by Blake Mills and Joseph Lorge, the song takes inspiration from its 1970s counterparts while also making it something so unique. Aurora is an intimate exploration of longing, temptation, and our deepest insecurities.
They recorded the album at the legendary Sound City Studios, the place where music royalty has recorded so many of their hit albums over the decades. This really benefits them because the album ends up not being conceptually overproduced. They could focus strictly on the instruments and the vocals while also producing that distinct SCS sound.
From Atlantic Records, Aurora features co-writes from Marcus Mumford, Phoebe Bridgers, Jackson Browne, Taylor Goldsmith, Madison Cunningham, Chris Weisman, James Valentine, and more. Aurora also features production from Tony Berg and instrumentalists from Rilo Kiley, the Who, Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam, David Bowie, Elton John, Jeff Beck, the Wallflowers, and more.
The namesake of the album, “Aurora” is a fun, upbeat track that both Reid and Billy describe best: “It was called “Aurora” because Camila … she was my aurora. She was my new dawn, my daybreak, my sun peeking over the horizon. She was all of it.” Is there a better way to say “I love you” than that? The song is practically screaming for radio air time, but I always pictured it as a ballad, so this was an interesting change of pace.
“Let Me Down Easy”
“Let Me Down Easy” is the perfect example of wanting something you can’t have; the moral dilemma. The placement of it being directly after “Aurora” is also very interesting and potentially really telling. It feels like Daisy speaking to Billy directly through song. If the feelings are one-sided, she’d rather know now as opposed to when it’s too late. The guitar solo on this track is really funky and distinctive.
“Kill You To Try”
“Kill You To Try” feels very Camila and Billy coded. It’s like Bily’s asking how he can rewrite all of his damning wrongs and Daisy playing the role of the other party — in this case Camila. Sure, we all have our mistakes, but actions speak louder than words, don’t they? Don’t let me out of this photograph / Since I found you, I can’t stop laughin’ / Come on, I need you, baby, you’re my better half / Come back home.
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“Two Against Three”
“Two Against Three” is a beautiful ballad and solo performance from Riley Keough. Because of this, you can really hear the raw edge of her voice. “Two Against Three,” to me, feels very equivocal. While it could be Daisy’s response to Billy, Camila, and Julia it also feels like this could be the song Karen and Daisy both worked on together in the book, as it’s very key-centric and the meaning can also apply to Karen’s personal dilemma.
“Look At Us Now (Honeycomb)”
“Look At Us Now (Honeycomb)” was the catalyst for the success of Daisy Jones & The Six. It has elements of Fleetwood Mac in the drum kicks at the beginning and “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd on the guitar solo. “Look At Us Now” is a beautiful tribute to the era of music. Inject it into my veins!
By no means is “Regret Me” a bad song. It’s not even a horrible one, but it’s certainly not what I pictured it sounding like when I first heard it. Removing the most iconic lyric “And, baby, when you think of me, I hope it ruins rock ‘n’ roll” was also a bit of a bummer. I expected it to be angrier with more vocals from Keough.
“You Were Gone”
“You Were Gone” proves just how well-rounded Claflin is as a performer. His voice on the track is silky smooth. “You Were Gone” is clearly the series counterpart to the book’s “Turn it Off”: “How about we turn it off?” / “Oh, forget about the way you turn me on.” It’s like they’ve shared so much of themselves in confidence, wanting someone they know they can’t have but also knowing you don’t have to stay. “Every story has an ending / And it’s not our job to stay.”
“More Fun To Miss”
It’s hard to explain, but “More Fun To Miss” feels very Daisy Jones. It’s powerful, passionate, sexual, and unapologetic. In other words, it’s got all the makings of a rockstar. I like all the exploration on the album, experimenting with distinct sounds and instruments. “More Fun To Miss” is a bit “harder” than the softer vocals we hear from Keough on the rest of the album. There were a lot of emerging female-led hard rock bands in the mid to late 1970s — The Runaways, Heart, Fanny — Daisy Jones & The Six would have fit in perfectly with its contemporaries.
Another solo performance, this time from Sam Claflin, but this is the yin to Daisy’s yang — it’s very guttural and desperate; a plea. It’s hard to pin down what exactly it reminds me of, but the keys are very reminiscent of Elton John’s “Bennie And The Jets.”
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With the beautiful blend of harmonies and the staunch bass line, Billy begs himself to resist his urges. Speaking of being ambiguous, “Please” is could be metaphor for his substance abuse, but the wording is pretty interpretive and could lead to it being about someone else. He wants to be the man his family needs, but the temptation is overwhelming.
Obviously, just because Reid took inspiration from real-life band Fleetwood Mac, doesn’t mean that the band inspires every song. That said, I do think Daisy and Billy really inhabit the Stevie and Lindsey dynamic here. I also love the parallel of Daisy singing “it seems you have a choice to make” in “Two Against Three” and DaisyBilly singing “you had a choice that I couldn’t make” in the second verse. Oof. “Let Me Down Easy” also ties in with the lyric “I’m in too deep / In the river, your reflection / is a promise you couldn’t keep.”
The vocal overlays are a really nice ethereal touch. “No Words” is the perfect full circle for the album. It feels like what they kicked off their writing sessions with and as Aurora progresses (and their relationship deepens), their conflicting points of view and feelings really come into play. But “No Words” is the calm before the storm — an intimate exploration of Billy and Daisy’s deepest insecurities.
Aurora by Daisy Jones & The Six is available to stream wherever you listen to music. The series premieres its first three episodes tomorrow, March 3, on Prime Video. Check out our review here.