After eight solo albums, a string of collaborative recordings and a role as producer to numerous artists, you would think Delaney Davidson could afford to rest on his laurels a little.
Not so – album number nine, ‘Shining Day’, yet again shows him to be a continually moving artist, ready to head in different directions, and here successfully co-opting shadow and light in his new songs. Collaboration is key, co-writing with SJD and Nathanial Rateliff, while Neil Finn also appears, putting his mark on the alt-pop, hyper-melodic, vocally-distorted What Am I Doing Wrong.
This isn’t an isolated example – catchy hooks appear throughout. The music hall sing-along of 10 Ton 40 Foot Carnival Girl, the melodious The World Is Mine, (a co-write with SJD) and the raucous rockabilly of I’m A Loser all stake their claim for best hook on show.
However, the songs with space and stillness leave the biggest impression. The seemingly weary Shining Day (also written with SJD) weaves its melody around a piano riff and sparse drumbeat, while the lilting, acoustic folk-pop first single Strange I Know is one of the loveliest songs here.
Davidson’s voice is a potent instrument too – sometimes treated, sometimes still, sometimes rough, it’s central to the songs, a major element of the tonal duality. ‘Shining Day’ is a contender for Delaney Davidson’s best album, a record where thematic experimentation collides with superb songwriting with dynamic results.