It’s amazing that a songwriter who has any musical resemblance to the Beatles or Ray Davies can mold his sound into anything even remotely interesting. It’s been done to death already. But what’s more amazing is when a songwriter not only produces something interesting, but something that is stellar.
Aussie Richard Davies isn’t a neophyte. After playing around in the critically acclaimed Australian band The Moles for a spell, he teamed up with Eric Matthews for the even more highly acclaimed band Cardinal. Since then, he’s put out one previous solo album and Telegraph, which treads a very well-traveled musical and lyrical path. Davies is really a folk styled storyteller who sings in a linear tradition rich with description and feeling.
Musically, there are touches of lots of people in Davies’ mixture. The musical similarity at times to Vic Chesnutt, Alex Chilton, Grant McClennan, and the Jayhawks is readily apparent. But somehow, Davies is able to acknowledge his similar ’60s pop and ’70s rock traditions with a nod and move on to something that is individually transcendent. It’s this sort of Davies revelation that led two guys from Sup Pop to leave and form Flydaddy Records. Basically, they’ve said, as a fan club for him.
Telegraph shows that the faith is well placed. With the warmth, richness, and personal honesty that Davies brings to this record, it could make a whole lot more people join the club. Flydaddy Records, P.O. Box 4618, Seattle, WA 98104; http://www.flydaddy.com