Following up his previous releases with a subsequently relevant project entitled Six, Charles Ryan Davis steps back up to the stage with his uniquely expressive leading voice, and a series of structurally complex, theatrical compositions, that completely embrace listeners; allowing for a fully entrancing hit of escapism throughout a short but satisfying playlist.
Kicking things off brilliantly, Night Walk offers up an immediately colourful groove, retro yet engaging, and a beautifully soulful and interesting leading voice. A great bit of songwriting, and a piece that effectively holds your interest right the way through.
Charles Ryan Davis is a master at scene-setting and building intensity, and the opening track reminds you of all of this, and showcases a mighty step higher on the creative and professional spectrum. Charles’ voice sounds wonderful, mildly raspy and organic, contrasting nicely with the smooth, retro, keyboard-like tones of the soundscape.
Time Waste follows on and utilizes intrigue incredibly well. Another mysterious piece, loaded with imagery and compelling references, balancing outward observations with personal, intimate thoughts and questions. You feel the need to witness something visual with these songs, but as it stands, the mind creates that aspect of the journey – and to each her own; another calling card of effective music.
Heartedly Whole comes through as the most mainstream-ready, Disney-film-finale type of song – simple and quiet to begin with, a few key lines that are quickly memorable. Then you get the subtle build up, the shoulder swaying groove, and these echoes or fragments of ideas softly raining down around you. Charles’ vocals reach impressive new peaks here, creating a melodically complex experience that again keeps you captivated throughout.
Well-titled and set to change the mood with infectious rhythms and lower, near-spoken vocals, Landmine Waltz balances intrigue and darkness with apparent joy and optimism. A bizarrely entertaining and clever, quirky piece of music and writing – perhaps a highlight for its poignancy and how recognizable it later proves to be. A personal favourite.
Little Witches is superb, fascinating and feeling like a scene in a play. Spacious yet detailed, intentional, led by the strength of the melodic development and the references; not to mention Charles’ voice, rising up from softness to power throughout.
Things come to a thoughtful and compelling finish with the circus-like, descending riffs and powerful story-telling of Unwritten Writer. Again, that voice is beautiful, transcending through the alternative or experimental nature of the music and the songwriting to skillfully bridge the gap and appeal on a deeply human, honest level. An absolute grower and another highlight. A great way to finish – those final moments have a mighty anthem-like feel.
This is categorically a project worth revisiting a few times over. Easy and enjoyable to have play, yet loaded with depth and insight – of such a vast and consistent nature that a single listen likely will leave a few things slept on or swept over. A pleasure to know about.
Ain’t it sad, Ain’t it sad – What could have been… And all too common…
Download the EP via iTunes.