Here, we have a simple idea
: take two musicians, both from the same part of the world and who have the similar compositional styles (and even similar names), put them on an album together and have them each write a song and then cover each other’s song using their own unique voice. The two guys in question are Daniel Davis, best known as an0va, and Pete Davis, better known as Invalids. While I’m sure we all know who an0va is, Pete’s a newcomer around here – he’s an independent musician who delves into the weird world of math rock, which makes joining forces with an0va only logical.
Let us now turn to the Chiptune Bible, in the book of Philadelphians:
1: And lo, the Davis boys did set upon their quest to release a four track EP for the masses.
2: And the God of Music did speak unto those masses to say, “Yo, this is pretty rad, you should hit this up on Bandcamp.”
Seriously though, in a day and age where everyone clamors for collaborations, it’s rather pleasing to see one from two dudes who compliment each other so well. Those of you who have seen Daniel play live know he’s big on math rock, finger-tapping notes out on a guitar, and songs that meander
between soulful and technically intricate. Pete shares a love of all these things. Their shared musical mentality let the Davis Duo work so seamlessly together on the tracks that honestly, if I didn’t know which song was written by which Davis, I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. Now, part of that is because they were able to make each track their own in their own way, but this is something I don’t think could have happened if you had taken two people with vastly disparate musical styles. The way this EP worked was simple but elegant: there are four tracks on this album – one written by an0va (RC PRO JAM), one written by Invalids (Telephone Explosions), and then each covered by the other.
‘Telephone Explosions’ is emotional. It’s one of those songs that makes you sad, but in the way that reading certain introspective poems makes you sad. Take the time to pull up the lyrics on the Bandcamp page to follow along. It helps you keep up, as there’s so much going on in this track that it’s easy to lose the lyrics as just another cog in the machine. Once you’ve heard and processed it try out, an0va’s cover. Even without the words, it still carries the same emotional weight. Now that you have the lyrics in you, you can really focus on the tone of the piece. While Daniel keeps it a little more upbeat, as he does with much of his music, so much of the underlying feeling in the song still comes through that nothing is lost.
By contrast, ‘RC PRO JAM’ never lets you stay in one place too long – it’s as though Daniel condensed the emotional rollercoaster that was ‘Ego Depletion’ into a single song. It’s extremely technical for long stretches, then calms back down. Invalids’ cover, however, somehow manages to make the whole piece sound a lot happier, almost like a lyric-less (aside from a few shouted words) version of one of those summer anthems we get here in America. Although there aren’t lyrics, per se, there are some nice uses of guest vocals to flavor certain parts, and hearing the intensely technical bits tapped out on a guitar is really excellent.
This album is worth the five dollar price tag, I promise you. You can pick it up on Bandcamp from the ebericrecords page, and if you’re interested in exploring more math rock goodness, you can find links to The Davis Dudes’ various projects in the links below.