It seems like every time you listen to Danielle Deckard’s songs you pick up another layer of her melodies and find a new meaning from the deep, personal lyrics she writes.
Indie-pop musician Deckard comes from the “endless suburbs” of New Jersey in the US, although she grew up in the quieter southern end of the state.
The 27-year-old, who will perform at Four Winds’ inaugural Summer Sounds festival, writes music featuring guitar, piano, strings, horn, synth and the occasional banjo.
The evolution to a multi-instrumentalist is interesting considering she comes from a family where she was the only one that played music and from an area where she did not fit in to the musical scene, so was solely driven by her own desire to become a singer-songwriter.
“When you’re from a smaller place in New Jersey there’s always an emo, punk or hardcore scene, but it was like I was the lone creator of my sort of music,” Deckard said.
“I was the bedroom musician, I never played in bands.
“I figured it out alone, which is kind of different to a lot of other musicians who grew up in musical families.”
Five years ago, she made the move to Australia – “it was about as far as I could go,” she laughed – with her Australian partner and has not looked back.
Despite being a long-term composer, Deckard felt her career only started when she released her EP titled End Of The World two years ago
“I had made music for years, but I took it all down because I felt I hadn’t found my sound,” she said.
“With End Of The World, I found I had a lot more energy so a lot of the songs were more cohesive and I felt I could put a diverse range of songs on there.
“I’m putting out an EP and album this year and they feel even more intrinsic with who I am.”
Now, her songs range from the upbeat love song Put That Ring Away, which is a comment on the need some feel to marry, to the self-reflective and haunting Undone.
In this song, she considers what it means to be an artist and remain one for the rest of her life, singing “I am a singer with no depth beyond my voice, Oh, where has it gone? Oh, where have I gone?”.
“Most of what I write is about trying to figure out what I’m doing, where I’m going and what the future is,” she said.
“My lyrics are quite personal. I think there has to be some element of personal in writing because it’s really hard to pull something out of thin air.
“But I always tell people my life isn’t that exciting - if all my songs were based on me I’d run out of material very quickly!”
Deckard will perform at Four Winds’ Summer Sounds festival in Barragga Bay on January 26 from 12pm-9pm.
She will play alongside a huge range of musicians that includes surf rockers Caravana Sun, blues sensation Alice Terry, Indigenous Australian tour de force Emily Wurramara, Samba diva Alda Rezende and Panorama Brasil, indie pop princess Luciana and more.
Tickets are $40 for youths or $80 for adults. Visit www.fourwinds.com.au.