Abbie On Aux: The palpable chemistry behind Daisy Jones & The Six’s ‘Aurora’

Daisy Jones & The Six is a fictitious 1970s rock ‘n’ roll band imagined by bestselling author Taylor Jenkins-Reid. (Courtesy: Pesky Librarians)

A bold guitar crescendo rips through the first 15 seconds of “Regret Me,” the first single the cast of “Daisy Jones & The Six” released in anticipation of their album “Aurora.” Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne passionately sing back and forth to each other about regretting their will-they-won’t-they relationship, communicated through their harmonies and hard-hitting lyrics like “you couldn’t handle your liquor and you can’t seem to handle the truth” and “meet me in the corner where you keep me.” The lyrical component of the song, along with its passionate vocals, provide a clear foundation for the album’s theme.

Daisy Jones & The Six is a fictitious 1970s rock ‘n’ roll band imagined by bestselling author Taylor Jenkins-Reid. The book and subsequent Amazon series dictates the rise and fall of the band throughout the ’70s. Specifically, the story documents the making of their best-selling album “Aurora” and the complicated relationship between lead singers Billy Dunne and Daisy Jones.

Lead actors Riley Keough and Sam Claflin were cast as Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne with no singing or musical experience –– a surprising learning curve for Keough, the granddaughter of Elvis Presley. The entire cast participated in a three-month long intensive band camp before filming and recording for the series to ensure a cohesive band identity and sound.

The show includes 25 original songs, 11 of which are featured on “Aurora.” The series recruited music supervisors and songwriting experts such as Blake Mills, Tony Berg, Frankie Pine and Marcus Mumford. Despite these talented collaborators, I had doubts about the choice to cast non-musicians in the show. As someone who immersed myself in the fictional world of the band, I imagined they would sound a certain way and was worried they would not live up to the book’s depiction of musical legends of the era.

On my first listen to the entire album, I was flat-out disappointed. The voice of the album didn’t feel authentic of the ’70s rock ‘n’ roll that was apparent in the novel. Jenkins-Reid alluded that the album was heavily inspired by Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours,” and “Aurora” felt nothing like it. I wasn’t convinced of the chemistry between Keough and Claflin, nor was I receiving the storytelling behind each song that I experienced by reading the story. Then, I watched the show. 

The cast’s version of “Aurora” on its own is not groundbreaking, but along with the storytelling and visual components of the show, it gains more value. The record and the series should be digested together in order for listeners to fully connect to the music. 

On first listen, Keough’s vulnerable solo “Two Against Three” didn’t initially convey Daisy’s struggles and pain as I hoped it would. However, after watching her character development and how it affected her live performances in the show, I started to hear where the emotion pulls through. 

Similarly, “More Fun to Miss” gains more power through the show’s context. In a scene in the recording studio, Billy writes a song about Daisy and makes her belt it over and over until she finally finds the passion in her voice. On the final take, Keough manages a raw and vulnerable sound which provides so much emotion to the song, making it an instant hit and a personal favorite.

Most importantly, watching the show helped me grasp the undeniable chemistry between leads Keough and Clafin, on and off the fictional stage. The connection between the two is evident in their on-screen connection, especially in scenes where they are performing. For two actors who couldn’t sing a lick of music on key before they were cast, the two brought surreal energy and performance to their roles. 

Relistening to the album as I watched scenes of Billy and Daisy fighting over song lyrics or Daisy floating alone in a hotel pool really helps explain the undertones of the lyrics and how the album was created. Just like any body of work, understanding the meaning and devotion that went into making it just makes it much more impactful.

After being disappointed with “Aurora” on my first listen, I can confidently say now that I have it on repeat. With the support of the show, Daisy Jones & The Six has found a way into my heart. Their ability to bring together a group of non-musicians and form a specific persona for the band is special.

Though, that special ability isn’t exactly original. “Look At Us Now (Honeycomb)” samples the iconic guitar riff from Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” while songs like “The River” highlight Keough’s impressive sound with its powerful bridge which recalls Stevie Nicks’ powerhouse vocals. In my opinion, the most iconic reference to Fleetwood Mac is the back-and-forth vocals between Billy and Daisy as inspired by Stevie Nicks’ powerful live performance of “Silver Springs” with ex and bandmate Lindsay Buckingham.

After reimagining my own idea of who and what Daisy Jones & The Six could be as a band, I am impressed by the cast of the series, who have transformed into rock stars and portrayed a complex and imaginary history. I believe that the band would have made serious waves in the ’70s world of rock n roll –– well, maybe if Fleetwood Mac hadn’t already existed.

Abbie Bobeck SC ’26 is from Washington, DC. She loves collecting Jellycats, stickering and sunny beach days.

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