After self-releasing for a few years, New York harpist/pianist/singer/songwriter/general talent Mikaela Davis has been snapped up by Rounder Records. Delivery, her first LP for the esteemed Massachusetts imprint, is a collection that balances influences from AM rock, 80s pop and a little smidgen of folk. Remember that Tobias Jesso Jr. guy from a few years ago? Davis could be his sister.
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I recommend this record to myself. It is the good Sunday music that I live for, the kind of music I have to look forward to through my good-to-subpar weekdays. Warm basslines and lounging gospel rock melodies join pristine production and the brilliant vocal performances of Mikaela Davis for the most AM rock record of your life. Listen to it in the traffic jam on the motorway or better yet, just have a coffee on the sofa with it.
Mikaela Davis knows how to write in the grey area between big music and cozy pop rock; she can play real bold with the dynamics, but never in a way that overreaches. Her opener has a brilliant final verse, isolating the chill-as-heck bassline so that it becomes the song’s driving force. The funky tendencies of “Get Gone” invite wahing fusion to the party, putting every goofy sound in exactly the right place -- seriously, listening to this one on headphones reveals the attention to detail Davis has sought with this record, the melodies and grooves all finding an ultra-specific place for you to hear them. It makes getting lost in the rhythm a treat.
Davis’ interest in classic rock idioms endures for the whole record, with “In My Groove” playing with the strums of folk, “Do You Wanna Be Mine” digging deep into electro-pop and “All I Do Is Disappear” centering a piano melody worthy of a song from Rent. All over the record feels like a vintage melody workshop, but it’s rich in all the things I want to hear: breezy, melancholy and a clear communicator, Davis’ ‘Delivery’ is absolutely wonderful pop music.
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- Delivery by Mikaela Davis
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