Thomas Woodward Davis is an improviser/singer-songwriter from the mountains of North Carolina. He is an award winning composer and has been published via NoteNova in Manhattan for his choral setting of Walt Whitman's "The Voice of the Rain.”
His release WOODWARD is a mix of original songs and instrumental improvisations. I really had no idea what was improvised and what was written in advance. These songs revolve around piano and vocals. The songs above all else seem to try and create a haunting quality.
Take for instance “My Heart is like a Child” which definitely sounds like it could be used to create tension in a horror movie. It’s unsettling because of the combination of innocence and dissonance. It doesn't last long but sets the tone. Up next is “Police State (of Mind).” There are vocals on this track and some advanced technical skills both in terms of precision and timing. The vocals are well done and felt theatrical.
“mo(MAN)on” is a centerpiece. There is such an off kilter quality to the song which deviates from a predictable pop song. The vocal performance is great on this song. “Canción de una Casa Solitária” is extremely haunting. It’s a little more scary than beautiful. I felt like something bad was lurking around the corner. In this movie I am in an apartment and discover a dead body in the library.
“No One Else” is another very haunting track. The addition of vinyl crackles adds to the feeling. There is an unease to the song as if I was standing inside the building of a long vacant mental ward.
I loved the mood Davis was able to create. His piano skills are top notch and at points reminded me of Glenn Gould. I’ll be looking forward to hearing more from him. Recommended.
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