Photos by Ashlie Acevedo.
It doesn’t automatically work to try fusing genres of music. There’s plenty of pop detritus from especially the 90s that proves this. But Anna Daigneault thinks it’s worth a shot. “We want to make sure that we’re fusing our genres in a meaningful way and not just slapping them together.”
The “we” here is Daigneault—under her electronic music name Quilla—and Americana songwriter Molly McGinn. Their first single, “Wild and Kind,” is their first released attempt at a combination of their work.
The two have musical histories that don’t obviously point to collaboration. Daigneault has leant her vocals and lyrics to a number of electronic dance tracks in addition to writing and producing some of her own songs. McGinn is a longtime songwriter who has recorded albums both solo and with her former band Amelia’s Mechanics in addition to current project Wurlitzer Prize, all within the broad and sometimes nebulous range of blues/alt-country/Americana music. But there was clearly an obvious kindred spirit.
“Several different people told each of us that we should work with one another,” Daigneault said when discussing the origin of the project. “Usually, producers would approach me and I’d write the lyrics and they’d build the song around that. When I heard Molly’s music, I felt like it was a good time for me to step over into the production side of things. I thought it would be fun to do for someone else’s songs. I’ve produced some of my own, but it’s liberating to work with someone else’s lyrics and to do the production for it.”
“‘Wild and Kind’ is a song that seems out of time and somehow ahead of it. It feels like a kindred spirit to Phosphorescent’s magisterial ‘The Quotidian Beasts’ and mutedly slinky like Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game.'”
“I just wanted to find a way to really showcase [McGinn’s] vocals in the verses in a very atmospheric way,” said Daigneault. “So there’s a lot of lush layers of atmospherics. They feel dreamy. I want listeners not to just hear a production, but to feel like they’re inside the song.”
That desire is certainly helped by the extended vision of their work together, which includes for this first single—and as a plan for future ones—a music video.
“Molly has a lot of good visual ideas,” Daigneault said. “She was the one who came up with the visual plan for the song. She worked with a really great videographer here in Greensboro, Jacqui Haggerty.” The pieces of the song and the project in general are perfectly demonstrated by the shots of the two performing the song, separate and together, and build to its swinging-fire conclusion.
The two plan to continue releasing singles with videos later this year with hopes of a larger release next year. There seems to be a fair bit of energy in the partnership, something displayed in the ambitious scope of this initial song and video and the plans to continue with such releases down the road.
“I’ve taken care of all the audio production and recording, and Molly’s doing the visual component,” notes Daigneault. “It’s a good collaboration because we have different skill sets.” With the two settling into their newfound respective places in this project, it bodes even more good things to come.