By Kieran Webber
The Brooklyn based Benjamin Lazar Davis has an incredible amount of badges and labels to his name. Not only is he a multi-instrumentalist but he is also a composer, producer, arranger and much more. To say music comes to him naturally would be an understatement. He also has credits with artists such as Joan as Police Woman and Okkeril River.
However ‘Nothing Matters’ is his first journey as a solo artist, which even with his credentials can be a daunting thing, especially as the album is written after a difficult breakup. A lot went in to this album, Davis spent all his money on instruments and set up in his childhood bedroom at his parents house, for 30 straight days he worked on the album. This level of intense emotion and passion is heard all the way through with moments of nonchalant, childlike playfulness.
The album opens with ‘A Love Song In Seven Ways’, a delicate, wavey track that is carried by Davis’ vocals. The use of the drum machines and pulsating synths create a swirling soundscape that is simply beautiful. The rest of the album carries itself in a familiar tone, but it’s always the pained vocals of Davis that shine through. The musical composition is simple in design but this draws focus to the vocals, which ultimately is the most impressive and important aspect of his music. Tracks such as ‘Brass Tacks’ and ‘Choosing Sides’ are evidence of this lyrical strength, the atmosphere created is one to be adored. I found myself lost in the beautiful wording and delivery from Davis. The soft vocals matched with the subtle plucking of the guitar are delightfully alluring.
Unfortunately, the album doesn’t make a huge impression, it’s nice music that is beautifully composed and carries real emotion but it fails to be memorable. But maybe it wasn’t meant to, after all the album is called ‘Nothing Matters’. Perhaps the album was created to be caught in the wind, heard in the background. This album may have been more for the artist than the listener.