New Music

DAYSHIFTER’s ‘Hiraeth’: a sonic tapestry of emotive hardcore

3 mins read

As the mid-June sun casts its broadening rays over Newcastle, a potent new force emerges from its bustling music scene. On June 8th, 2023, melodic hardcore band Dayshifter unleashed their debut studio album, ‘Hiraeth‘, like a thunderclap echoing across the sonic landscape.

The formidable work, meticulously crafted under the watchful eye of Dan Kerr of Avenue Studios, Surrey, serves as a vehement manifesto against the societal stigma encompassing mental health. Delving into the shadowy realms of depression and anxiety, Dayshifter explores themes of love and loss, life and death, the agony and the ecstasy.

This collection of songs serves as a beacon of solidarity to those wrestling with life’s bleaker moments, urging them to break their silence and engage in open dialogue.

Hiraeth‘, however, is not simply a testament to the human struggle but a sonic catharsis— a tumultuous fusion of resonating basslines, precise drumming, fierce metal riffs, and spectral synths that lays a raw soundscape for the vocal duality. The interchange between harmonious melodies and visceral screams reflects the dichotomy of their subject matter: despair and hope.

Reflecting on their motivations behind the album, Dayshifter elucidates, “Our goal with Hiraeth is to break down the stigma surrounding mental health and encourage open communication. We aspire to use our music as a platform to assure listeners that they are not alone, and there’s always a shoulder to lean on.”


Formed in 2017, Dayshifter has striven to create a unique sonic identity, amalgamating the power of hardcore with the melodies of alternative rock. Their journey has led them to share stages with eminent acts such as Loathe, King 810, and Oceans Ate Alaska, and with ‘Hiraeth’, they are poised to leave an indelible mark on the music scene.

Now, with ‘Hiraeth’ reverberating across the globe, Dayshifter stands at the forefront of a new wave of hardcore, relentlessly chipping away at the monolith of mental health stigma, one anguished yet defiant note at a time.

Hiraeth‘ is a vibrant odyssey through the realms of melodic hardcore, replete with piercing personal narratives and commanding instrumental prowess. The opening salvo of the album, initially designed as a mere introduction, blossoms into a fully formed piece, effectively setting the scene for the raw sincerity permeating the record. Some tracks courageously play with structure, interweaving the intensity of guttural screams with the grace of melodic harmonies.


The band’s painstaking commitment to the sonic craft is evident throughout the album, with vocals painstakingly re-recorded in unconventional settings and songs carried by the compelling power of emotive melodies. The listener is treated to a diverse soundscape, from energetic anthems primed for electrifying live performances to catchy tunes that could easily find a home on mainstream radio rotations.

The album also incorporates the more traditional elements of metalcore, lending a familiar yet refreshing texture to the sound. The transitional track provides a seamless gateway to the album’s culmination, a boundary-pushing single that’s uniquely structured but has been widely embraced by listeners. ‘Hiraeth’ is, in essence, an artful blend of personal stories, resounding instrumental delivery, and an unflinching exploration of musical boundaries.

Track by track commentary – words by Dayshifter:


1. Emerald Green: We were toying with the idea of an intro track for the album, but then when we started on this track the ideas just kept flowing and it turned into a 3 minute track! We loved how it turned out though.

2. Holy Ghost: The chorus in this one was something we messed around with a lot. We were hesitant on having a chorus that focused on pitched screaming rather than clean vocals, so we tried both and felt like the pitched screaming was more effective. We also loved shooting the video for this in a little church in Wallsend, a small town near Newcastle.

3. 1936: A track that is very close to our vocalist’s heart as it is dedicated to his grandad. The song starts off as a slower, more melodic track, but the screams in the second verse are probably the heaviest on the album.

4. Rain (Forever): We loved this track from the beginning, but we’re never happy with how the vocals sat in the mix in the chorus. Nathan actually re-recorded the clean vocals an octave higher in my (Tom) mam’s living room after we left the studio.

5. Rosé: The back half of this song is probably my personal favourite part of the entire album. It hits home for me really hard and hearing the first mix gave me goosebumps. This was the first song we recorded for the album.

6. Old Souls, Young Hearts: This track will be a fun one to hear/play live. I expect there’ll be lots of movement with all the bouncy riffs and a hard hitting breakdown. It also has one of them chorus’ you can scream at the top of your lungs.

7. Anywhere But Here: The most radio friendly track on the album, but probably also the catchiest. We shot the music video during lockdown when the restrictions had started to ease in an abandoned mansion near Liverpool, and trust me, we had to shoot very quickly as it reeked worse than anything I’ve ever smelt in my life.

8. Buried In Grey: Another one of the hard-hitters on this album, but in more of a traditional metalcore sense. Heavy riff-laden verses and a slower, more heartfelt chorus.

9. Hiraeth: This started as a live intro track for us, and we still use the original demo from time to time as an intro track, but we felt that this was a great track to ease the listener into the last track on the album.

10. Fever Dreaming: This was our most recent single and it’s received such a positive response so far! We all love this track and felt we needed to release it as a single even though it has such a unique structure!

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