Benjamin lazar davis by Shervin Lainez

Album Stream:

Benjamin Lazar Davis

“Nothing Matters”

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words by tom johnson

photography by shervin lainez

Something of an unheralded champion of the backing-band up until now, Benjamin Lazar Davis, currently of Okkervil River and having also worked with Anais Mitchell, Kimbra, Sam Amidon, and many more, today leaps in to the limelight with his gorgeous debut solo album, a ten-track collection which we’re very excited to stream in full here, ahead of its release this-coming Friday via 11A Records.

Davis is a prominent multi-instrumentalist, and it’s said that to make this record he “spent all of his money” on instruments and recording gear, including drums and drum machines, both nylon and steel string acoustic guitars, an electric and an upright bass, a pump organ, a mellotron, a Moog, and an upright piano. Retreating to his childhood bedroom in Saratoga Springs, he recorded for a full month, and the result is something both textured and terrific; a varied pop record that takes on various faces but feels bound by something unseen; a lightness of touch like gossamer unseen.

While there are a number of shared writing credits – including the aforementioned Kimbra – Davis defines Nothing Matters as a “culmination of his life’s work”, piecing together inspiration taken from the myriad performers he’s collaborated with throughout his career. As such, the record is suitably wide-ranging, a multicoloured and multifarious journey through his many visions. There’s breezy pop music, showcased with dedicated glamour on a track like “Life Is Dangerous”, while it’s follow-up, the captivatingly ambiguous “Brass Tacks”, or the lilting title-track, highlights a more tender and unhurried side to his style, drifting in to the alt-folk territory of S.Carey et al.

An interesting and inspired collection, and one that beautifully carries with it the weight of experience that came before, Nothing Matters is a beautiful side-step, worthy of the work that has undoubtedly gone in to it, not just back in that old childhood room but in the years before it too. It gets a full release this Friday, but you can stream the whole thing below right now. Check it out here:

‘Nothing Matters’ is out this Friday, via 11A Records – available for pre-order here

Tour Dates:

4/19: C’mon Everybody (album release show) – Brooklyn, NY
5/03: Forest Arts Center – New Milton, UK ^
5/04: Quay Arts – Newport, UK ^
5/05: Marisa Jack & Da
vy – Bedfordshire, UK ^
5/09: The Sugar Club – Dublin, Ireland ^
5/10: Howard Assembly Room – Leeds, UK ^
5/12: Sage Gateshead – Gateshead, UK ^
5/13: Traverse Theatre – Edinburgh, UK ^
5/14: Old Mill Gallery – Castle Douglas, UK ^
5/17: Cecil Sharp House – London, UK ^
5/20: Black Cat – Washington, DC *
5/21: Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC *
5/22: Aisle 5 – Atlanta, GA *
5/24: The Kessler – Dallas, TX *
5/25: The Heights – Houston, TX *
5/26: Mohawk – Austin, TX *
5/29: Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ *
5/31: Teragram Ballroom – Los Angeles, CA *
6/01: Observatory – Santa Ana, CA *
6/02: Bimbo’s – San Francisco, CA *
6/04: Neumos – Seattle, WA *

^ supporting Anna & Elizabeth
* supporting Okkervil River

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facebook.com/benjaminlazardavis

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