Available on 12” LP or CD. O.D. Davey’s debut album Catgut Tape is made up of high romanticised electronic folk, having already been compared to the stripped back stylings of Thom Yorke there’s a definite taste of a younger version of a contemporary David Sylvain to his voice and the sparseness to the production.
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O. D. Davey is ostensibly making love songs on new record ‘Cagut Tape’, but from the alarm-chiming keys and sultry whisper-growling of “Help the Bombardier”, you’d be forgiven for thinking he had never been in love. This is a dark and slithery record where everything is pursued a little bit out of focus: the vocals are processed up close and sound suffocatingly intimate, Davey conjuring an intentionally unpleasant experience with songs that literally feel like they’re being whispered into your ear. It recalls EMA’s striking first record in positing hopelessness all around you.
It’s an interesting strand of bedroom pop, this: it sounds something like Aidan Moffat bottoming out and deciding to take over recording duties from Bill Wells, swapping the grandiose piano compositions and metropolis beats for the synths and drum machines of John Maus. Davey never reaches for climaxes, instead letting his songs languish around the toy arrangements: “Jessica’s Song” takes a shuffling beat and has Davey mumble about it, harmonies occasionally appearing as a serving suggestion. “The Day We Slew The Hill” is about as sweet as Davey gets, using a sparkly bit of piano that could burn with a thousand of Sigur Ros’ cold suns, before bringing in his scratchy, hyperventilating vocal.
Your enjoyment of ‘Cagut Tape’ is contingent on you being able to get on with disastrous voices, which isn’t to say that Davey’s voice isn’t doing it’s job -- it’s an affectation that makes his record sound more personal than ever, but for specific reasons: to unsettle and to provoke, and perhaps to redefine our approach to sad indie pop songs. Why should they sound appealing when they make us feel the way Davey does?
10/10 Dave Customer review, 11th May 2015
A pure ejaculation of tragicomic teen love. Dry, scared, babyfaced, bedwetting, honest, fantasist, utilitarian, whispered, bitcrushed, balldropping, hilarious, excruciating, melodic, soft, skeletal, sensitive, childish, resigned, pretty, crappy, forgetful, dopey, bashful, grumpy, snowwhite, lofi, garageband, bedroom, corner, acoustic, drum machine, scratchy, creaky, plinky, ageing, ashamed, open, disciplined, bitter, old fashioned, loving, crooning, creepy, downbeat, upbeat, etc, etc, the kid's got potential.
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- Catgut Tape by O.D. Davey
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