Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Andy Davis successfully appeals to many listeners with piano

January 12, 2010

Andy DavisNew History EP falls neatly into the mature pop genre. Davis’ clear, soulful tenor fits neatly into the constraints of the genre, and his paino-led songwriting does similarly. It’s no knock to the quality of the EP; that’s just the way it is. If you like Mraz, the Fray, John Mayer, even Michael Buble, you’ll love Andy Davis.

Opener “That’s Where My Head Is” provides a twinge of country to the epic sweep of his piano and vocal melodies through harmonica and organ. The song shows that Davis knows how to write songs to best dramatic effect, and that he can make hits if he keeps writing long enough with the right breaks. “New History” is an upbeat version of the same theme, played on a keyboard instead of a true piano. The chorus breaks into an unusual mood, but it’s definitely enjoyable. “Hard to Believe” is a “Fix You”-esque ballad where Davis puts his full emotional scope on display. It’s easily the best overall track on the EP, and it will certainly find placement on future mixtapes.

The most intriguing track of the five-song EP, however, is “Passing Trains.” Davis abandons well-worn chords and sounds to produce a more free-flowing style, creating a distinct mood. The song sticks out on the EP, which is otherwise very standard songs that are easily palatable radio songs (again, not a dig; that’s what it is). The heavily atmospheric mood that’s created through percussion, reverb, unusual instruments and wordless vocals is incredibly interesting and merits repeated listens. I listened to it most out of all the tracks.

Andy Davis’ New History EP is a great collection of songs. For those who love “I’m Yours,” all songs but track two will pique your interest. If you like unusual and progressive songwriting, “Passing Trains” will give you pause. To appeal to such disparate audiences on the same short EP is impressive. If Davis finds a way to meld the two approaches, he will be on to something fantastic.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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