Delaney Davidson: Shining Day (Rough Diamond/Southbound)

 |   |  1 min read

Such a Loser
Delaney Davidson: Shining Day (Rough Diamond/Southbound)

Although most would, perhaps quite rightly, associate Delaney Davidson with dark Waitsean sounds, raw loops and frequently menacing songs at the midpoint of Hank Williams and Nick Cave, there has often been a very strong pop component in his work, catching the chords and structures of classic Fifties and early Sixties sounds.

Just check Tell It To You on Lucky Guy (2015), or Old Boy (Troubled Times) and Dogs of Love on Swim Down Low which came as vinyl release on Record Store Day in 2014.

Although there are country influences right across this new album, there is also as much pop (albeit it bent into unusual shapes and seen through a more jaundiced lens) on Shining Day.

Such a Loser – second up after the country-flavoured Strange I Know – is economic and fuzzed-up Merseybeat power-pop and What Am I Doing Wrong next up (with Neil Finn on bass) is pop-rock along a similar axis.

There is also oppressive and distorted pop here (the thumping Ever Gonna See with power chords, searing vocals through steel wool of the kind Jack White might admire) and So Far Away has almost jaunty quality despite its lyrics which address the attritions of life and the belief/hope that it's gonna be better elsewhere/soon/later.

As always, Davidson delivers a fractured beauty (the slow and accusatory ballad Bottomless Hole right at the end) and there is a vengeful spirit afoot too (Lucky Star is bitter and dark).

For the electronica-meets-Johnny Cash (through a megaphone) he pairs up with SJD which mixes the vinegar with sugar (the elevating backing vocals) and the centre-piece title track is a melodically lean and downbeat ballad with an uplifting backing vocal and a lyric which attests to hope, and the supportive and enduring nature of love. It provides the lovely raw material for a warmer cover to take it to the mainstream attention which it deserves.

At the other end of the spectrum is Ten Ton Forty Foot Carnival Girl, locatings him at the freak circus, but which comes with a funky country pop substructure.

Davidson says the origins of these songs are as diverse in their geographical origins as they are in the time of their conceptions but if that's so – and he has always been a reliable witness – then that doesn't come through on a collection which, as always, offers as much breadth as it does depth.

Once again Delaney Davidson does not fail to deliver.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music at Elsewhere articles index

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Sharon O'Neill: Words, The Best of Sharon O'Neill (Sony)

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Sharon O'Neill: Words, The Best of Sharon O'Neill (Sony)

With Sharon O'Neill's 2017 induction into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame, this 20-song collection from 2014 gets deserved re-presentation. But it also serves as useful reminder of just... > Read more

Brigid Mae Power: Head Above Water (Fire/Southbound)

Brigid Mae Power: Head Above Water (Fire/Southbound)

Elsewhere is well-known for approaching English and Irish folk music with some caution if not outright suspicion. The lamentations, murder and miserablism, references to medievalism,... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Ti L'Afrique: Soul Sok Sega (c1974)

Ti L'Afrique: Soul Sok Sega (c1974)

One of the things you can never explain to people who don't listen to music much -- and these sad types do walk among us -- is the thrill of discovery that songs can bring. Especially if you... > Read more

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more