Three people are sitting around a wooden kitchen table in Park Slope eating dinner. There’s little at all to indicate that they’re one of the hottest-tipped electronic pop acts of 2013 aside from the fact that the living room is littered with studio quality recording equipment. On the cusp of their debut EP Tunnel Vision, Little Daylight are perfectly poised for their break into mainstream musical notoriety—except no one knows who they are.
Plenty of people have heard the group’s songs, but beyond the names Nikki, Matt and Eric, it’s difficult to find out much more about the personalities behind the music. Ageless and anonymous, the trio aren’t part of Brooklyn’s ramshackle Williamsburg/Bushwick DIY scene, instead a sprawling wood-paneled home in a remote family-centric neighborhood serves as the recording studio and headquarters for the trio.
"We wanted everything in the press to be about Little Daylight as long as possible," explains Matt, the group’s guitarist. "We wanted it to about the music, about the band and about the show." In a celebrity-driven culture that incessantly focuses on a cult of personality the desire for anonymity is a strange route. But it’s one that more and more acts seem to be opting for.
Back in 2012, Little Daylight emerged as remixers, adding their own electronic flourishes and airy injections to songs like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s "Man on Fire" or Freelance Whale’s "Spitting Image." Leaving New York altogether last fall to shut themselves up in a lake house and fully realize the group’s vision, they began to record original material.
The first taste of this effort came last January with the release of "Overdose," a click-happy, heady pop track that skyrocketed to the top spot on internet tastemaking tracker Hype Machine and stayed there. Off this popularity spike, the group booked several live shows at SXSW and began to record and perform in earnest. Following this initial single, a steady stream of crackling bubblegum songs continued to flow—tracks that somehow sidestep previous conceptions of pop. There’s an addictive, spine-tingling quality to the songs, complete with the weight of enormous radio hit, but none of the dramatic star personality behind them. Devoid of any human story, the songs scan as perfect in their conceptuality, pop with the music actually at its center.
Underneath everything that we do, underneath pop music, and underneath things that people really like to listen to is kind of the same quintessential stuff—it feels good and it sounds good. I’m interested in why things are like that. What it is that compels me to listen to something a million times?
"I think we’re all comfortable with pop," said lead vocalist Nikki of the group’s sound. “Underneath everything that we do, underneath pop music, and underneath things that people really like to listen to is kind of the same quintessential stuff—it feels good and it sounds good.
"I’m interested in why things are like that. What it is that compels me to listen to something a million times? And maybe it’s not even pop music itself, but that essence is what I like to have underpinning our music."