Kate Davis — Trophy (Nov. 8, 2019)
∇ Formována jako objev, jazzový zázrak. A teď? S chytrým a upřímným indie~rockovým debutem, který vzdává hold dospívání ve všech jeho protivenstvích i malých glorifikacích.
∇ Emocionálním vrcholem Trophy je „Daisy“, klíčová píseň, kterou Davis napsala po smrti svého otce. Spouští se stejným kytarovým kouzlem jako „Fuck and Run“ od Liz Phair, okouzlující song, zachycující bezcílnost a strach z dospívání. Davis vyjmenovává ctnosti, které nemá: „Ani já nejsem dobrá ani čistá, ani nejsem moudrá.“ Když opakuje „Neustále jsem fuck,“ připomíná nám, že jsme všichni malé děti s rtěnkou namazanou na tvářích, maskované jako dospělí.
ο∨ο Musical polymath who released jazz albums as a teen and wrote “Seventeen” with Sharon Van Etten before emerging with indie rock of her own. Davis started learning music on the violin. She moved to the Pacific Northwest in middle school and began to study the double bass. She played violin and bass in the Portland Youth Philharmonic. She was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts in 2009 through the YoungArts national arts scholarship program while at West Linn High School in West Linn, Oregon
Born: February 4, 1991, West Linn, Oregon, U.S
Album release: November 8, 2019
Record Label: Solitaire Recordings
01 Daisy 2:58
02 Open Heart 3:51
03 Burning Accidents 3:39
04 Dirty Teenager 3:08
05 Animals 2:49
06 Cloud 3:31
07 I Like Myself 3:24
08 Did You Love Somebody 3:34
09 Salome 3:10
10 rbbts 4:23
11 St. Joseph 2:23
12 Trophy 2:31
★ Produced by Tim Bright
★ Engineered by Tim Bright
★ Mixed by Steve Vealey
★ Mastered by Joe LaPorta at Sterling Sound
★ String Arrangement by Kate Davis
★ Horn Arrangements by Kate Davis and Tim Bright
★ Kate Davis: vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards, piano, recorder
★ Tim Bright: guitar (tracks 1~6, 8~10, 12)
★ Mike Riddleberger: drums (tracks 1, 3~6, 8~10, 12)
★ Alex Foote: guitar (tracks 1~6, 9, 10)
★ Conor Rayne: drums (tracks 10, 11, 12)
★ Savannah Harris: drums (track 2)
★ Marco Benevento: keyboards (tracks 2, 6, 8, 11)
★ Alyssa McDoom: vocals (tracks 1, 2, 4~6, 8, 10, 11)
★ Brooklyn Rider: strings (track 7)
★ Kalia Vandever: trombone (tracks 2, 8, 11)
★ Doug Wieselman: saxophone (tracks 2, 8, 11)
★ Mac Gollehon: trumpet (tracks 2, 8, 11)
Ξ Mission Sound, Brooklyn, NY
Ξ Engineered by Oliver Strauss
Ξ Trout Studios, Brooklyn, NY
Ξ Engineered by Bryce Goggin
Ξ Sixty Cycle Music, Brooklyn NY
Ξ Photography & Design: Holden Brown & Melissa Nelson
Ξ All songs written by Kate Davis, published by Kate Davis Music (ASCAP), Primary Wave Anthems (ASCAP), BMG Gold Songs (ASCAP)
AllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson; Score: ★★★★
∇ The third solo album by Portland native Kate Davis but her indie rock and singer/songwriter debut, Trophy was several years the making. A one~time jazz prodigy, the vocalist/bassist recorded a pair of cover albums as a teen between performances with youth orchestras, as a guest of the likes of Herbie Hancock and Ben Folds, and as a Presidential Scholar of the Arts at Kennedy Center. After graduating from the Manhattan School of Music in the early 2010s, she stayed in New York and continued to perform, gradually introducing her own material inspired by Elliott Smith and, more on~point, Ben Gibbard rather than Tin Pan Alley. Closely following the success of Sharon Van Etten’s alternative hit “Seventeen,” a song Davis co~wrote with Van Etten, she presents 12 indie tunes of her own. It’s a sun~streaked confessional set that reveals sophisticated melodic and harmonic tendencies in addition to predictably nuanced vocals. That all takes place within largely catchy, pristine arrangements.
∇ Opening track “Daisy,” for example, introduces steadily churning guitar and simple drums under a lilting vocal melody that remains crisp and clear in the mix. The song takes a couple of unexpected diversions, structurally speaking, while searching, self~examining lyrics take stock: “Neither am I good nor pure/Neither am I wise/However I am willing/To start from the ground up/So I keep growing up.” Tracked live in the studio, potential earworm “Cloud” explores teen concepts of love with a lively chord~progression arc while maintaining that sound clarity. Elsewhere, and offering textural variety, the spare and sweet “I Like Myself” features only guitar, strings, and vocal harmonies as accompaniment, while “Salome” takes a grungy turn.
∇ Recalling contemporary debuts by names like Anna Burch and Madison Cunningham in terms of its polished sophistication, consistency, and fault~finding lyrics, Trophy introduces a songwriter fully formed.
∇ Kate Davis picked up a violin at age five, a bass at age thirteen. She entered the Portland Youth Philharmonic before puberty, the Grammy Jazz Ensemble before adolescence. By the time she graduated high school, Kate won the Presidential Scholar in the Arts Award and a full ride to the Manhattan School of Music. By the time she graduated college, ASCAP’s Robert Allen Award and slots at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. As a young adult, the virtuoso claimed enthusiastic endorsements from NPR, MTV, PBS and BBC as well as coveted invitations to the stage from Herbie Hancock, Ben Folds, Alison Krauss, Jeff Goldblum and the like. Most recently, she co~wrote Sharon Van Etten’s hit single “Seventeen.”
∇ Yet, Kate Davis considers her debut indie rock album her hardest~earned accolade to date.
∇ Kate grew up as a jazz darling, but she grew into something significantly more dynamic. Days spent practicing and performing became nights spent writing — cathartic indie rock — music simultaneously informed by and rebutting of her training. Forbidden chord progressions emerged like diary entries, documents of an internal reaction to routine. Time intended for technique slipped into secret listening sessions of Beach House and Death Cab for Cutie. In the same bright, arresting croon that ignited her youthful stardom, Davis created confessionals.
∇ Now 28 and audibly matured, Kate is prepared to properly share the artifacts from her late night craft, a full length reaction to ritual required of perfection, an outburst from the pedestal. Trophy will be released in the fall of 2019 on Solitaire Recordings. Throughout twelve tumultuous tracks, Kate poetically reflects upon the intricacies of what it is to live, ruminating on topics too close to her heart — identity, self~worth, loss.
• Introducing Kate Davis (2008)
• A Kate Davis Holiday (2009)
• Live at Jimmy Mak’s (2010)
• Trophy (2019)