Pocket full of posies

Minneapolis rock band Daisy Chains is recording a new album and planning a fall tour.

Daisy Chains performs for a late night crowd at Eagles 34 early Saturday June 4.

Maddy Fox

Daisy Chains performs for a late night crowd at Eagles 34 early Saturday June 4.

by Joe Cristo

In the 19th century, poet John Keats wrote a love story called “La Belle Dame sans Merci.” The titular femme fatale character — decked with a beautiful daisy chain garland — devoured every man she met.

The daisy chain has since become a symbol for irregularity and childlike wonder, revolution and love. 

Minneapolis rock band Daisy Chains uniquely embraces these connections by subverting typical power dynamics and focusing on what it means to be lonely. 

Daisy Chains began on Thanksgiving Day of 2014. Singer and guitarist Beth Bambery and drummer Walker Neudorff didn’t have holiday plans, so they decided to form a band. 

Bambery had been a bedroom songwriter, recording songs on GarageBand software in privacy. After stockpiling enough tracks, she began searching for a new performance outlet.

“I was holding on to them and not showing anybody but secretly wanted to start a band,” Bambery said. “I waited until once I felt that I was good enough or was proud of [them].” 

Bambery and Neudorff met while on tour with their respective bands in Iowa City. The two shared a love for groups like the Shangri-las and the Shirelles, soon realizing they were attuned to the same pop sensibilities.

“I was touring with my band Miami Dolphins,” Bambery said. “[Neudorff] was touring with Solid Attitude. He lived in Iowa City, and once he moved to Minneapolis we became better friends.”

Initially a duo, they spent months practicing in secret. Neudorff smashed a bizarre floor tom, snare and crash cymbal drum setup, while Bambery yelped over warm chord phrasings.

“It went well, so we started practicing more and more,” Neudorff said. “The first set of songs was focused on acoustic guitar, so I was expecting the transition to be harder.” 

Eventually, the fledgling band began searching for new members. They set their sights on bassist Allison Gunderson.

“Allison was in a band called Vellhouse,” Neudorff said. “So we staked her out, and we both went, ‘Oh yeah, she’s good.’”

After an admittedly disastrous first show, their sound began to develop and broaden. Bambery’s voice sported a distinct, high-pitched wavering vibrato, and Neudorff’s frenetic energy locked in with Gunderson’s low-end wobble. Folk met heavy rock. 

“I usually tell people we sound like Nirvana meets Sheryl Crow,” Bambery said. “Or, if I feel fancy, I’ll say Fleetwood Mac.” 

When their sound finally came together, they started touring the Midwest and headlining local shows at Eagles 34 and the Hexagon Bar. 

“It’s getting to a place where everything sounds like the way we want it to sound,” Neudorff said. “People seem to sorta like it.” 

Right now, Daisy Chains is taking a break from live shows to focus on recording their first full-length LP. The record will be tracked in Neudorff’s house and should be finished by the end of the summer, with a release date in the fall. 

“We’re going to try and finish the album, then go on tour,” Neudorff said. “We want to leave the Midwest and head for the coasts. But first we need to finish the album and find someone to put it out.”