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Album Review: Davy Williamson “Down By The Fire” EP

Righteous rage is what’s on the menu today in music, as we join singer/songwriter Davy Williamson on an emotional trip in his brand new EP, “Down By The Fire”. We’ll be taking a closer look at the themes and musicianship on display here, so let’s dive in.

The EP finds the North Carolina native at his most resolute, as Davy’s lyrics pull us into his endlessly vacillating mind, made all the more relatable by his sheer anguish and rage. Songs like “Cliche” and are very reminiscent of the post-grunge era and the music of the early 2000s in terms of writing and sound, but they’re also deeply personal and very personalized.

“Down By The Fire” is packed with these moments of compression—lean phrases that steadily inflate into three-dimensional scenes. Driving their expansion are vigorous and detailed arrangements, music that rattles against Davy’s agitated lyrics until they erupt. There are brief moments of levity throughout the EP’s playtime, but they’re simply that, brief.

Musical richness seeps through these songs in spite of their aggressive nature, with some very pretty arrangements that shine and sparkle with luster. These moments are on full display during said slower moments such as the EP’s interlude. It’s a beautiful little instrumental track that still represents the themes of the album, but in a subtle way.

https://open.spotify.com/artist/1cDMjTuUkUebZsXvK811bP?si=mmpeQlPPQqOaoXaOhp0paQ&dl_branch=1

 

Things begin to pick up speed right after that, building up to a powerful climax in “Sick Thoughts”. Everything builds up to this moment, and it’s a truly glorious piece, one that’s as triumphant as it is cathartic. Screaming guitars spearhead the song, but it changes things up and slows down the pace multiple times throughout its play time, making for an incredibly fun and dynamic listen.

It all culminates with a massive climax, releasing all the energy at once as the song draws to a close and the outro rolls in. Even then, we’re not quite done as a feeling catharsis washes over the listener, with guitars gently sweeping through until the definitive end of the album.

“Down By The Fire” is a fantastic experience. Unique, energetic and creative in all the best ways, it’s a hallmark of its genre. It’s also a great showing for Davy Williamson, proving his worth as a solo artist and giving us a great sign of things to come from the growing performer.

–Jason Airy

About Michael Stover

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