Simple Words, Complex World is the debut EP from DAVIS. Cousins Gavin and Keith Davis decided to forgo the torturous process of choosing a catchy moniker, operating under the flag of the clan instead. Time saved allowed them to dive straight into Simple Words, Complex World a freshman release as crisply defined in idea and execution as you are likely to hear this year.
Influences such as Ben Howard and Bon Iver are echoed without being aped throughout the release. The dynamic created by Gavin and Keith’s polar musical pasts, hard-core drummer and singer-songwriter respectively, ensures Simple Words, Complex World doesn’t fall into the tired traps that often ensnare straight-up folkies. Opener ‘Eager’ is built upon a slowly building, cyclical acoustic guitar, drums push and pull the song within its loose structural lines while the falsetto refrain of “Who are you?” punctuates the songs like a catchy exclamation mark.
Lyrically there’s vulnerability, a sense of helpless foreboding throughout the EP On ‘Love, Hate and Drugs’ the line “We’re infected with love, hate and drugs/Tears visit us/My emotions keep on closing these doors I open with words” eloquently evokes a night spent leaping on and off the rails. Uncertainty, love, loss and jackets offered in hope of returned affection, all the things that perforate the edges of the boy/girl dynamic.
Simple Words, Complex World is an incredibly accomplished debut offering. Due to the cousins’ independently earned chops there’s no fat, no uncertainty. Clearly defined ideas, purposefully executed. It’s hard to decipher clearly the division of labour when it comes to singing, but either way all four songs carry an assured vocal.
The prospect of Davis expanding on this EP with a full-length record makes the ears salivate. Davis are asking for just €1 for this delightful four song EP, all the proceeds of which go to Pieta House – conscientious young chaps to boot. You can catch them on Thursday the 19th of this month in Whelan’s.