Album of the Day: Daniel Davies, “Events Score”

When the child of a famous musician decides to follow their parents’ path it can sometimes be challenging for them to establish themselves as an artist in their own right. Daniel Davies, the son of The Kinks’ Dave Davies, fell victim to that struggle on his 2011 debut EP Hidden Faces, which cast him as the lead singer and guitarist of a rock trio. In the following years, however, he found his own voice by helping another, his godfather John Carpenter, reclaim his. Davies has been essential to the horror director and composer’s late-career resurgence, touring live and working on Carpenter albums including Lost Themes and the upcoming new Halloween score. Now with the atmospheric Events Score, Davies has made a debut album that demonstrates his own considerable strength as a composer.

Though Davies’s palette is distinct from Carpenter’s icy minimalism, he does conjure some “lost themes” of his own with eerie, proggy soundscapes that could be written for an imaginary horror film. Clouds of ominous synths hover on tracks like “Shadows Alive.” That track begins as a lullaby, built around a delicate harpsichord, before heavier tones fill out the bottom end and the entire song dissolves like a bad dream. Spindly guitars and dark synths dwell on “XXT” but the brisk percussion lifts it with an almost jazzy airiness. “Endless Blue” opens as pure drone, but methodically builds to a cathartic melody. It offers a rare brightness that only makes the rest of Events Score’s inky darkness more unsettling.

The eight tracks over Events Score’s 31 minutes are all relatively short, but Davies’s vivid productions give the album a greater scope. The influence of Carpenter is undeniable and Davies carries on The Kinks’ pioneering skill in making the harpsichord sound utterly tragic and modern, but more than anything it feels like a showcase of his own burgeoning compositional talent. Davies’s music could evolve in many directions and the multiple paths that spring out from Events Score are as compelling as they are darkly alluring.

-Miles Bowe

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