Delaney Davidson: Swim Down Low (Rough Trade/Southbound)

 |   |  1 min read

Delaney Davidson: Down on Me
Delaney Davidson: Swim Down Low (Rough Trade/Southbound)

That recent Record Store Day has still been diverting me as I trawl through my purchases . . . which accounts for coming so late to this one by multiple-award winning singer-songwriter Davidson who is loosely placed in the country category, but who has much in common with dark European cabaret and sometimes Nick Cave as he does with Hank Williams.

This came out on vinyl on Record Store Day (with a separate booklet of Davidson's collage artwork and snapshots from the touring life through the States, Mexico and Europe. If he ever got sick of writing and singing songs he should take to the typewriter because his insightful pieces are as hard edged as they are funny or tragic.

There may still be vinyl copies at Southbound Records in Auckland and, because the record comes with a download code and the booklet, that's the way to go.

But if you just want a CD, here it is: Davidson prowling around in alt.country, haunting the darklands (the Waitsean spook circus of It's All Fun), delivering a pedal steel treatment of Nick Lowe's Beast in Me, nodding towards Ennio Morricone's spaghetti Western soundtracks on Poison Song with lonely trumpet, and taking you to the hoe-down on Poor White Trash.

There's even a sliver of extremely catchy downer pop on Old Boy (Terrible Times) which has terrific guitar chord punctuation from the Fifties. It's almost a singalong, if bleak matters and Lucifer be your idea of fun. The jaunty separation song Farewell or quasi-rockabilly Dogs of Love (Delaney as Marc Bolan?) might be more to most tastes.

The diversity here sometimes make this sound like a showcase which detracts from any focused picture, but Davidson's accomplishment here is that he realises all these ideas equally well. The death row ballad Down on Me is a standout.

So, another dark ride with Delaney Davidson, an economic storyteller who has supped on the dark side

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

John Prine and Mac Wiseman: Standard Songs for Average People (Oh Boy)

John Prine and Mac Wiseman: Standard Songs for Average People (Oh Boy)

Elsewhere has never pretended to be fashionable, and this one certainly ain't. Two salty old pals just a-sittin' and a-playin' a bunch of tunes from their back pages: Bob Wills' Don't Be Ashamed of... > Read more

Russkaja: Kasatchok Superstar (Chat Chapeau)

Russkaja: Kasatchok Superstar (Chat Chapeau)

Not sure whether the ska/guitar rock/folk-dance of this Russian/Balkan/German seven-piece from Vienna (sometimes, they tour for about two-thirds of the year) will catch on -- but my guess is once... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

A FAST 15 MINUTES: Sounds peculiar to me, pal

A FAST 15 MINUTES: Sounds peculiar to me, pal

In this fast 15 minute programme we listen to the sound of unusual instruments like PVC pipes, flowerpots and other found objects. Peculiar, but in a good way. For more of these fast 15 minute... > Read more

Lipbone Redding: Hop the Fence (Bepop)

Lipbone Redding: Hop the Fence (Bepop)

American Redding has been an itinerant musician through Europe, the States and Asia whose music is so memorably enjoyable -- and his vocal technique of sounding like a trombone -- it would... > Read more