Foreground: Sophia Kurzius. Background: Nick Paul and Willy Snow Downing. Photo by Chad Ripley.
by Alex LaRoza
“Why are there so many high-schoolers at this show?” I thought to myself as I drank my second beer of the night. It took me a second to realize that a lot of these “high schoolers” were simply college freshmen, and I was simply an old man of 25.
Maybe it was because there were so many college kids at the Stone Church in Newmarket on the night of April 11th. In case you aren’t a UNH student and can’t guess who I’m referring to, I’m talking about Daylo: the UNH music scene’s biggest success story of 2018-2019. The synth-heavy psych pop unit is made up of singer Sophia Kurzius, guitarist Willy Snow Downing, keyboardist Chase Retrosi, bassist Nick Paul, and drummer Chris Salemme.
“We all met at college because we were all involved with the university’s music scene-therefore, a lot of the people who like our music are also our friends,” Kurzius said. “I love everyone that loves our music.”
That Thursday night, Daylo (along with the melodic opening act Surfliner) performed yet another sold out show at the Stone Church. The group mixed their infectious originals with cover songs such as Kim Wilde’s “Kids of America” and Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets”, the group’s encore performance. This combination showcased the group’s eclecticism, with their pop element standing out in a music scene mostly dominated by jam bands.
“There is some overlap, but we all definitely listen to different music and bring different ideas to the table,” Kurzius said. “But when we write a song we just combine all our interests into whatever we are creating, without attempting to confine ourselves into one specific genre. In fact, I honestly have no idea how I’d describe our music.”
Good might be one way. Maybe even opinion-changing. To my ears, the best performance of the night was of Bonnie Tyler’s 80s classic “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, for one simple reason: I normally despise this song. It belongs in a Disney movie more than a rock concert. And yet, I was singing triumphantly along with the band’s dramatic, gothic reading of it. Maybe it was just the four beers I had consumed at that point. But more to the point, Daylo can take a song I would never normally enjoy and make me love it. That says a lot about their appeal, one that I expect will continue to grow as time goes on.