Seattle-based songwriter Shenandoah Davis made her debut in 2008 with the full-length album We; Camera. Since then, she’s toured in the US, Japan, and Western Europe, performed at major music and arts festivals including SXSW, collaborated with Seattle Rock Orchestra and Portland Cello Project, toured with fellow Seattle-ites Grand Hallway, and was a resident musician at the Art Monastery in Umbria, Italy (Whew, just re-reading that list makes me tired). Most recently, though, Davis has released a new album, fan-funded through Kickstarter, entitled The Company We Keep.
Davis has been compared to the likes of Joanna Newsom and Regina Spektor for her singing, piano instrumentation, and introspective lyrics. Unlike her warbly contemporaries, though, Davis has an undergraduate degree in opera performance. I wasn’t really sure what to expect of an indie folk album from a former opera singer. I could imagine those warbles getting really … warbly. And fast.
But, I’m happy to say, The Company We Keep wildly exceeded my expectations. The operaticness just adds to the richness and versatility of Shenandoah Davis’ voice. I loved the twinkly xylophone-y keyboard (technical term) juxtaposed with her folksy crooning in Separate Houses; the brooding “White Wind“; even the catchy refrain in “Anywhere” (‘don’t go anywhere without me, now’) that reminded me of those old amex commercials. The 12 songs are cohesively emotional in an artistic way.
Shenandoah Davis will be embarking on an extensive four-month US tour, including our very own Washington, DC on 10/30 (venue TBA). You can hear The Company We Keep for yourself here, and her recent Daytrotter session here.
– Ingrid Farfalle