Between writing new music, photoshoots and trying not to get too drunk after their gigs, Dahlia are a female country/pop trio to be reckoned with. Consisting of Paris, Jess and most recently, Abi, these three girls are determined to showcase their music to the world, even if it does mean putting up with budget hotels that harbour pillows reminiscent of tissue paper.
Released last year, Only Human was the band’s first taste of success. Written by Ben Earle of The Shires, Only Human was originally recorded with Lisa Wright, who Paris explains left the band to pursue other ambitions. However it was still an exciting time for Dahlia. `It was really cool actually, he’d sort of heard of the band,’ explains Paris. `I think he’d heard one of our covers of Ronan Keating on Facebook and got in touch with Jess and just said he’d really like to do this song with us.’ And the single didn’t go unnoticed, going on to gain airtime on radio stations such as BBC East Midlands, as well as reaching number three in the iTunes charts.
Their harmonies are what make Dahlia stand out from the crowd, carefully entwining their voices together to create their own distinct sound. Abi says, ‘My dad plays the guitar, so as a kid he always used to play me country music. I grew up on Fleetwood Mac and the Dixie Chicks so they all had harmonies.’ Jess did however admit that it’s not always so easy to get their voices spot on. ‘Paris is the one that, so great with harmonies.’ Abi was also quick to agree. ‘I’m so shit with harmonies and Paris literally has to tell me step by step which note it is and then I have to listen to it over and over again.’
Lyrics are also something Dahlia take a lot of time and care over, realising that it’s the words of country music that evoke such witty and interesting stories. Their song Whiskey was written by Abi and she explains the songwriting process that she went through. `I guess if you listen to some of the music that we write you’d think we’re all having a really shit time. But Whiskey was really about one of my friends and she had a horrible boyfriend and she just kept going back to him.’
Currently, Dahlia are touring the UK, stopping off at some weird and wonderful venues including a laundrette in Durham. Yes, a real laundrette. ‘There were bras behind us,’ laughs Abi. But to them, every experience counts and they’ve got some pretty impressive venues lined up, including The Borderline in London, where CMA and Grammy award winner Maren Morris graced the stage last year. ‘We’re playing The Borderline in London with Frankie Davies and Laura Oakes so that’ll be nice, all the girls together,’ explains Jess.
Along with being on the road, Dahlia are hoping this year will be their year to create a storm. ‘At the moment we’re trying to get some more recordings, something to demo as the new lineup. We do a lot of co-writes as well so we’re just writing so much at the minute,’ says Jess. So why not take a look and see if Dahlia are heading to a town near you? With knockout vocals like theirs, they’ll be swapping the budget hotels for The Hilton in no time.
Interview conducted by Natalie Walsh