Kate Davis | rbbts (single)

 
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Family Average: 5/7

You ever hear a song and think to yourself “Gosh darn where is a stadium? I need to hear this song properly.” That is what this song is going to do to you. Kate Davis has a massive sound. We are talking all encompassing. Mystifying with an emphasis on mist because this song is about to engulf an unsuspecting sleepy town. You know just like that horror movie. However unlike that horror movie the people in the town would be dancing like there is no tomorrow instead of being eaten by horrifying lovecraftian creatures. With that said brush those tentacles off the tape deck, pop this buddy on and see what we all had to say about it.

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Are you ready to cry? No? Then don’t listen to Kate Davis.

I happen to enjoy a good cry once (or twice or three times) a week...and found “RBBTS” will get the waterworks going. Could be that I am listening on a perfectly grey and gloomy day, but the somber sound and lyrics struck something in my ears that triggered my tear ducts. Or perhaps it is because the song seems to be about someone frustrated with wrestling with the fear of starting something fully with someone who has the potential to love you unconditionally.  

The sound is something I can only describe as “mature”. I know, I know that sounds like I’m some kind of impressed, absent divorced dad or something. But for real, this gal just seems to fully understand the time and place for every element she introduces. It’s tangible how familiar she is with music, and making good music. It builds so perfectly, it delves into a full emotion, and ends at just the right time.  

To me, “rbbts” is reminiscent of the likes of Lucy Dacus, Maggie Rogers, or Julien Baker. All good ladies, but I must say that Kate Davis seems to have an indescribable “oompf” that is putting her somewhere slightly separate in my mind. I would be watching out for this gal. Put her in your playlists. All your playlists!  

6/7

 
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So my immediate feeling listening to Kate Davis’s music (the three songs I’ve heard) is that her sound is very similar to Jessica Lea Mayfield, who I love. Some of Davis’s music is a little more blue grass, though, and I feel like the instruments carry almost as much storytelling weight as her voice. I saw that Davis was voted one of MTV’s  “15 fresh females who will rule pop’ in 2014, but I wouldn’t say she’s been ruling the pop game or has enough content yet to give a taste of what makes her stand out.

In the video to her song ‘rbbts’ she’s wearing a black suit & has on red lipstick while frolicking in a tub and I felt that she was kind of drowning and renewing herself all at once. There’s another part in the same video where she’s dancing alone at this purple-haze bar/club thing while “meet me in the morning / indigo skyline twilight” plays in the background in a kind of moany-singsongy melody. I did sort of get The Fray vibes from that video which was kind of off-putting but I liked the movement in it, how the colors moved from turquoise and white in the beginning and end scenes to grey and red to purple in the middle.

Listening to ‘rbbts’ took me back to house show basement parties in college where the lights were dim and the vocals carried through all levels of the house & poured outside. I like that the songs she writes seem to be about mornings because that’s how her music sounds-- like waking up on a slow morning in a haze drifting in & out of sleep. How the build comes and then relinquishes, kind of like how thoughts come and go.

I really really love her song ‘my baby just cares for me’; it kind of makes me feel like I’m on a carousel ride or stumbling upon a pop-up carnival. I think there’s a lot of potential here for her future content and I’m excited to hear what else she puts out. I hope she’s able to use her songwriting abilities to tell powerful stories because her voice is very soothing to listen to.

5/7

 
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Excuse me while I adjust myself this song has got me all hot and bothered. The hook in this thing is like one of those giant hooks people use to skewer swordfish. You know the ones I am talking about. The kinds you hold in your hands at a tackle shop, and laugh to yourself. Maybe you even pick it up and show it to your dad as a joke. “Hey what about this one? HAAHA.” It’s a big hook. The kind that makes you want to listen to the song over and over and over and over. The rest of the song is pretty good too. Allow me to elaborate. 

Before the hook is an under appreciated area of music. As you saw above it is pretty easy to gush over a poppy rock hook. The build up however is just as important. It sets the scene for the explosion of emotions to come. This one talks a lot about loss. Love lost? Hearts broken. That’s some pretty sad stuff. Nothing like that deep pain in your gut to make you want to pound your fists on some walls and belt out the chorus of this song. So yes while the hook is hook-tactic. I like to linger a bit longer in the interludes, and spin out in the fantastic dizzying guitar plucking.

Fans of pop, and rock music will crush this like a Mountain Dew on a hot summer day. If you are not into Mountain Dew don’t fret we also have Sierra Mist.

5/7

 
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There is something achingly beautiful about Kate Davis’ voice. It swells and vibrates and carries and shrieks and pierces you. Everything about this song grabbed my attention and hooked me, line and sinker. The instrumentals are immense — no, lush — and match the indulgent tenor of the song as a whole. It’s just a beautiful piece of work that swells and builds into some of the most wonderful crescendoes of crashing noise and vocals I’ve heard in a while.

Davis writes with an honest and clear narrative. Anyone who has been in a relationship and has gone through the love-lost throes will feel their heart wrench alongside her lyrics. She just seems to have an innate sensitivity and ability to relate a deep melancholy. Beyond that, she writes directly and succinctly, and composes with an innate comprehension of what makes a really, really good song.

I will be listening to this on loop for quite some time. A song of the summer, tbh.

6/7

 
Sean Maldjian