Jan 13, 2023
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Taylor Bogner
Later this year, Nashville-based folk pop singer/songwriter Mandi Mapes is set to share her forthcoming debut LP, Levees, out March 10th. Her debut full-length finds Mapes’s folk sensibilities sharing space with strains of pop and Americana, crafting warm and sun-lit gems that shine with a sincere, hard-won hope. She shared the record’s lead single, “Surely Goodness” last year, and today she’s back with her second single, “Daffodil Floors,” premiering early with Under the Radar.
“Daffodil Floors” leans into Mapes’ talent for golden-hued balladry, with her vocals lilting above loping piano rhythms, warm acoustics, and lovely bursts of strings. It’s a song that shines in its simplicity, capturing a sense of weightless joy amidst its pastoral swells of melody. The lyrics reflect on this same joy, with Mapes finding a liberating triumph in abandoning other’s expectations: “Find me where the lily grows wild / I’ll be running free as a child / And they’ll say that I should be doing more / While I’m making snow angels on daffodil floors.”
Mapes says of the track, “Over the years, I’ve started noticing that in most areas of life, whether it be in the classroom, the office, the church, the mom’s group or on the gram, there can become a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) pressure to measure up to a certain standard. Sometimes standards can be useful. I mean, I like knowing that my Uber driver has a good rating, but sometimes standards can be hurtful (like in a room of moms boasting about their unmedicated birth while a friend sits quietly because she had a c-section.) It can create a culture of judging others when they “fall short” or “fail” and it can cause deep feelings of shame when we ourselves cannot measure up to a lofty standard. In my early 20’s I mostly felt like I was “winning” in some of these arenas. Until one day real life knocked me in the teeth and suddenly I went from feeling like some kind of superhero in my own movie to suddenly becoming (gasp) a mere mortal.
I was striving so hard to be the person I thought (and was told) I should be that I abandoned myself along the way. I was burnt out and depressed.
This song is about healing from that hurt. It’s about taking off those heavy burdens, ignoring those voices of shame and running free like a child, knowing that we are loved, that we matter and that we belong not because of what we do, but because of who we are.”
Check out the song below, out everywhere on January 20th. Pre-save the track here. Mapes’ debut album, Levees, is out everywhere on March 10th.