Devin Davis was one of the earlier “bedroom rockers” featured here, back in the mid-’00s. I was impressed with how little his music sounds like a one-man band, and charmed by this odd but endearing song. Still am.
[from March 7, 2005]
Chicago bedroom rocker Devin Davis opens his mouth and Ray Davies all but tumbles out. This is a fine thing in and of itself, as I am kindly disposed to anyone properly inspired by the Kinks. But Davis (and isn’t come to think of it “Davies” pronounced “Davis” in the U.K.?), to my ears, has much more going for him than a Kinks fixation, a fact made clearest by his achievement as a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/arranger/engineer/producer. Technology has made it easy enough to be a one-person band in your own home studio, but rarely will you hear a bedroom rocker who sounds as loose and unfettered as Davis does. Think of it: to do all this yourself requires incredible precision and repetition; how do you then produce something that sounds so loose and alive? Playing the part here of a crestfallen turtle who appears to have lost his true, inter-species love, Davis delivers a song buzzing with spirit and life. From the quiet, bouncy-sad electric piano intro through to the heart-opening chorus, with its stirring melody and ramshackle feel, he not only transcends his influences, he transcends his technology. “Turtle and the Flightless Bird” comes from Davis’s debut CD, Lonely People of the World, Unite!, set for release on (of course) his own Mousse Records imprint next week. The MP3 is available on his web site.
ADDENDUM: Lonely People of the World, Unite! remains Davis’s sole release. His web site, however, sports a relatively new message, in crazily flamboyant colors: “Hey there!… I’m still working on the new album… I’m going to finish it! For real! Hopefully in time for the holidays…” Well, this was not to be, but the message is still encouraging. Fingers remain crossed.