The Ottawa-based band Farewell Davidson debuts with the EP Hometown Lights, marking a milestone in their early career while their music is being played on college and commercial radio stations. The band is made up of young and talented up-and-comers Ryan Wiles, who takes up the lead vocals and back guitar, Zac Liberty shredding the lead guitar, Alex Caro on the bass, and Joey Kane riffing the drums and contributing back vocals with Victor Antunes. Together, they make modern rock inspired by Tokyo Police Club and Jack White.
Hometown Lights leads with ‘Fixate’, which presents a raw, to-the-point, unproduced sound that I like. It really adds to the garage-band feel with vocals that call from the ’90s. If I didn’t know better, I would have called this a skinny-jean band, but it’s clear that there’s a lot more theory involved.
The album is bridged with ‘Open Heart Surgery’, ‘Waiting’, ‘Late Night News (Problems)’, and ‘The Getaway’. The rhyme scheme in a lot of these songs leaves a few things to be desired, but otherwise I can’t complain about how they put their lyrics together – they did well for the most part. The filter on the vocals (though not being anything new as far as modern music goes) couples nicely with the playfulness of the guitar riff.
The flow takes eventual breaks from the grating guitar for more hypnotic songs like ‘Waiting’, then gets back into it with ‘Late Night News (Problems)’, which is actually good enough to be featured in some avant-garde car commercial. A lot hokey and boyish at times, but this band knows what it’s doing and what it wants to be.
A trend I noticed a lot of these bands doing is exaggerating an echo effect on the voice (maybe to create a more immersive experience?) and this band falls in line with this now popular technique. I would usually call this a cop-out, but in this case, it actually kinda works. It’s especially noticeable in ‘The Getaway’.
The band seems to stress the song ‘Hometown Lights’ as the “hit” or the “magnum opus” of the album, and while it’s a good song, it just doesn’t hold a candle to ‘Late Night News (Problems)’. Farewell Davidson is expanding their listenership and the band is being well-received for the most part. The boys are currently working on their second EP.
For more on Farewell Davidson, visit farewelldavidson.com.