Born Days is the conceptual dreamwave goth-pop project from Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist singer, songwriter, and producer Melissa Harris. Her first full-length album My Little Dark will be released on October 6, 2023, through AudioSport Records.
Candidly vulnerable and emotionally complex, My Little Dark is an album that draws inspiration from the realm of confessional poetry and the world of childlike innocence to sonically explore and narrate the anagogic, deeply personal, and complex labyrinthine pathways that exist within the heart and mind. Mystical and melancholic, Harris’s ethereal voice escapes into dark symphonic soundscapes driven by dreamy, synth-heavy polyrhythms that paint a cinematic electronic pop soundtrack soaked in moody, hazy textures. The album was partially written while Harris spent time in an outpatient program dealing with a severe mental health crisis and as a means to heal. Writing this music was one of the ways that Harris was able to continue living on this planet. Harris admits that it is hard to put that previous sentence into words, but this music is about truth and beauty, and so that is what inspired the songs on My Little Dark.
Drawing influences from alternative, darkwave, dreampop, and goth culture, Harris plays with a sonic palette of soft, dark, and dusty tones that mix elements of grunge, post-punk, neo-psychedelia, shoegaze, and modern pop. Deeply nostalgic and profoundly personal, My Little Dark explores Harris’s struggles with mental illness, trauma, destructive cycling, love, innocence, and beyond. Her distinctively soft and sweet voice is saturated with otherworldly essence that explodes into apocalyptic crescendos and escapes into ghostly innocence. Harris’s songs are brilliantly enchanting and sonically dripping with haunted textures, little spirits from the ether, and dystopian landscapes that leave you longing for a more innocent and beautiful time.
ABOUT THE ALBUM
My Little Dark is a project that has been several years and several thousand miles in the making. Harris began making experimental music under the name Born Days in 2017 as a way to express herself, process her memories, and heal from the complexities of trauma to reconnect with the purity and innocence that is part of the innate order of nature. After receiving critical acclaim on her first two self-released EPs from Bandcamp, Chicago Tribune, Destroy//Exist, Audiotree, and beyond, she went on to perform live sets and music festivals with globally recognized talent like Neggy Gemmy, George Clanton, Beach Bunny, Kedr Livanskiy, and Caroline Polachek.
Struggling to find a quiet place to record the new album once Covid hit the US, Harris was stricken with severe agoraphobia and debilitating anxiety. Confined to her tiny, paper-thin walled one-bedroom apartment in Chicago, she realized that recording at her home studio was no longer an option. As the sounds of the city began to haunt every corner of her recording studio, she developed an acute sensitivity to sound that temporarily prevented her from recording and mixing her music.
Determined not to let anything get in the way, she threw her gear in the car and spontaneously drove across the country, spending the next three months recording nearly 10 hours daily in a tiny bedroom closet in the middle of the desert. Recorded and produced between the deserts of Arizona and her home studio in Illinois, Harris takes credit as a writer, producer, singer, and key instrumentalist on guitar, bass, synths, and samplers. Harris used various intricate and experimental recording methods to create the sounds on My Little Dark. She experimented with simulated modular synths to sculpt and mold her own sounds, wavetable synths and granulators to pitch, stretch, and manipulate sound, field recordings, found sound, and her own voice to create and build the samplers and instruments you will hear on the record.
My Little Dark is an existentialist love album devoted to the little ghosts and dark shadows lurking within our minds’ hidden corners, and a beacon to carry on.