Mitch Davis – The Haunt [Streaming]

Montreal songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Mitch Davis dropped his long awaited debut album The Haunt via Arbutus Records.
A wonderful blend of chillaxing pop, funk and dance record that showcases his musical talents.

About the album:
The Haunt is a breezy, upbeat listen, very much in tune with the spirit of 70s pop that Davis loves for the way it strikes a balance between complexity and brevity. These are composed, layered songs made with care, but also made to make you smile.
Not only fun for the listener, The Haunt sounds like it was fun to make—and it was. ”As soon as I start working on something, I don’t get tired. I can’t,” says Davis. “It’s like I get drunk on the music or something.” Yet the record is also very personal, pondering over the ways memories, both good and bad, can continue to linger long after the people and things that inspired them have disappeared into the ether—thus the title of The Haunt.

Davis isn’t just an in-demand musical player in the Montreal scene—he’s also a gearhead who is often tapped to fix his peers’ synths and amps. Just like Davis doesn’t have any formal musical training, he also never formally studied electronics, and his interest in building his own gear came about more organically. “I mostly just couldn’t afford the gear that’s as good as I could make,” he says. One piece of self-built equipment he used for The Haunt is a boutique analog compressor called the Mitch Davis Compressor (MDC.) He’s sold it to about 20 people in his community, but it will become available commercially soon as well.

Much of The Haunt is very keys-driven—the title track, which closes out the record, is an instrumental piano piece that Davis had kicking around for a while before figuring out what to do with it—and it’s full of warm retro sounds like rhodes, clavinet, and synth.
But it’s also a record full of playfully modern moments that surprise and delight, like the unexpected chiptune breakdown near the end of “Let it Die,” a cool contrast to the song’s funky marching bass line and lyrics about deciding to give up on a relationship.

The baroquely orchestrated “Hope That” achieves a unique interplay between a basic drum machine backbeat and the more acoustic instruments and some lovely synthesized strings. “My City Life” is the album’s centerpiece, a soulful ballad about feeling lost in the big city for which Davis drew on his own experiences moving to Montréal from a town of 3,000. The song was written in a single sitting, which is unusual for the songwriter and speaks to the song’s intimacy and rawness. Though it begins as an intimate piano ballad, it soon shifts into smooth and catchy soft rock, becoming a lyrical tale of loneliness that musically reaches for the stars—a song emblematic of the kaleidoscopic talents of Mitch Davis that are on full display on The Haunt.

The Haunt gets: 📷📷📷📷📷📷📷📷/10.

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