Earlier this month, Toronto-based artist DAVIDS released his debut, 0613EP on Nile River Records. With just five songs, DAVIDS manages to take listeners on a unique and slightly bizarre musical ride that stretches the limits of electronic music. On first listen the EP is deceptively accessible, but 0613EP boasts multiple layers and at times a serious vibe that leaves you feeling a bit on edge.
The two strongest examples come from the vocals and the synth. Most vocal parts consist of eerie, reverb laden harmonies. Dark, low end synth combine with pop melodies, creating a pleasantly unsettling mood. Despite the album’s pop leanings, there are definitely dark undertones and a feeling of mystery. The opening track, “Iranians” sets the mood with an exotic tone, but things quickly shift toward a gritty direction. “Buried in Cocaine” is less introspective than the opener and more of a straightforward dance track. Laced with early hip-hop sounds, the second song has some jolting transitions that easily emulate the feeling of taking an illicit drug.
The EP’s single, “Dead Walkie,” sounds like it would have been right at home in the original soundtrack to the 2011 film, Drive. The soaring melodies and 80s synthpop hooks lend itself to being the catchiest song of the bunch, but again, is followed by darker new wave tones. “Right On” is definitely the most aggressive of the five songs, providing a heavy and distorted sound reminiscent of the industrial bands of the 90s.
Despite the varied influences, the last half of the EP has a sense of resolution, successfully combining both the uplifting and somber themes and ending on a satisfying note. Overall, DAVIDS have created a brief and mysterious journey into a world of electronic music that’s hard to pin down. 0613EP is a conglomerate of various genres that stray from the beaten path and is well suited for listeners who want diversity and a fresh take on synthpop or new wave.
0613EP is available from Bandcamp as a high quality digital download, or you can purchase the limited edition CD or digital download. You can also purchase the EP from the iTunes music store here. Be sure to check out the captivating video for “Dead Walkie” which was shot on location in Lyon, France and directed by Christopher Mills (Interpol, Broken Social Scene, Rush).
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