Every so often a song comes along that just fits in with the times. Maybe it’s because it resonates with the particular ebb and flow of one’s existence. Maybe it’s because it fulfils our need to relate or be relatable. Whatever it is, music has this way of connecting with a massive group of people…but in a uniquely personal way. When I first listened to ‘old remedies‘ by Chris Davis and Sam James (aka davis & james), I was immediately reminded of this psychologically fascinating yet peculiar phenomenon.
The two musicians began intermingling their classical and indie-folk roots in 2021. And while the duo says their music is mostly influenced by the artists who got them through the early days of the pandemic, davis & james craft a soundscape that is uniquely their own.
davis & james
“…this song is an ode to reaching for those things that don’t really solve anything, but get you through a difficult time.”
It’s no secret that indie music has become somewhat known for combining untraditional sounds with traditional songwriting forms. The infusion of analog synths and drum loops into the folk/Americana genre gained popularity in the mid 90s when artists, like Elliot Smith began intertwining ’60s singer/songwriter stylings into their alternative music. And as decades pass, each generation of songwriters adds their own creative twist to this genre’s core foundation.
With davis & james; a violin, analog drum machine, and acoustic guitar is all the duo need to create their own unique, hauntingly familiar, sound of indie-Americana. Artfully mastering the essence of tempered patience, ‘old remedies’ creates a swelling wave of sound that both soothes and questions the soul.
The track administers a good dose of lyrical fatalism while, ironically, creating an overwhelming sense of optimism. The music slips effortlessly between major and minor chord progressions to support the vocal’s duality.
Davis’ lyrics explore the ways we cope amidst chaos by asking the listener, “…what could go wrong?” A question as timeless as “what is the meaning of life”…and sometimes equally unanswerable. James supports his lyrical counterpart by subtly weaving prolific violin riffs around the songs catchy phrases. All of which are layered among a texture of analog synths, rhythms and a slightly out-of-tune piano. The end result is a debut worthy of any playlist in need of that perfect existentialistic track.
‘old remedies‘ is the debut single from davis & james. For more info on the band, check out the links below.
Find Old Remedies by Davis & James on our New Indie Music playlist