Some Waking Woman by OD Davey

Release date: November 3, 2017
Label: Tomlab

O.D. Davey may have come up with three albums before Some Waking Woman, but he surely is not somebody you would call a household name among music fans. When you encounter a solo artist who you are not familiar with, you would initially expect a singer/songwriter, an electronic artist with a do it yourself approach, or an experimental musician with progressive inclinations. Not to keep us confused, Davey actually covers all three of those, usually in each song at the time.

Some Waking Woman is covered with languid music themes that you usually associate with singer/songwriters, but Davey embellishes his mostly daily life themes with electronic touches, that has more to do with what you would label progressive sounds, like the mellotron on the title song or the strangely garbled analog synth sounds of ‘The Way Home’. What it does is create some sort of a grey scale monochrome musical visions, somewhere in sound on the crossing between The Clientele and Robert Wyatt. Some kind of day to day melancholy prevails both the music and the lyrics, but Davey at no time sounds trite, bored or boring, for that matter. His musical images are much deeper than that. The music he presents is at the same time a background to our daily happenings but at the same time not a grey wallpaper, but something that you certainly have a feeling that you are a part of (whether you want it or not).

This certainly has a lot to do with the fact that OD Davey is also a video artist who also writes and teaches visual art at UCA. I probably missed a few things he does along the way. The qualification “intelligent” immediately springs to mind, particularly because OD Davey is also the name of the last commander of the Royal  Navy ship “Cumberland”, something that symbolizes the last days of Brittish naval supremacy in the late Fifties. Obviously, under the everyday “mundane” themes Davey has a lot more to say than it initially seems.

As the album progresses and tracks like ‘Crash’ and ‘The Blue Note’  come and go you realize that OD Davey has been able to involve the listener into his ordinary images making a musical background in your search for a meaning in everyday things. Quite an accomplishment for an album that is at least on surface supposed to be all black and white.

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