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As a music writer I’m obliged to critique new tracks regularly. I’ve been hit with the snazzy, the unfortunate, and the downright delicious over the past year, but it’s rare that a song hits me so hard I’m thinking of, and playing it weeks later, all the while getting the same intoxicating vibrations I did from the very first listen. But acoustic connoisseur Jimmy Davis, has successfully managed to leave an imprint on my mind wilder than Keith Richards’ antics.
A young man with a big heart, Jimmy Davis wears it on his sleeve proudly. His latest single Be Kind is swept up in sweet melodies and stirring nostalgia.
Laying amongst my stack of crochet blankets at 2am on a Sunday morning, sick and in a congested daze of all things cold and flu, this self-proclaimed 60s ‘time traveller’ took me by surprise, and had me wrapped right around his bright orange curls. As soon as his track, Be Kind, began playing I was transported. I was no longer in my nest of comfort, but in his world, with his guitar, his pained voice and a collection of previously unearthed emotions – it was confronting, right down to the bone.
Hailing from the small town of Cooran on the Sunshine Coast, and inspired by the likes of James Vincent McMorrow, Allen Stone and Jarle Bernhoft, this 21 year old songbird recorded this five minute concoction with Dax Liniere in April this year. Liniere approached Davis after seeing him perform at an open mic / chalk board at Canberra’s National Folk Festival, offering to record the track free of charge.
“Be Kind is a song about a big falling out with a group of friends I had back when I was 18” says Davis. “At the time I felt completely exiled and had myself pleading for them to simply be kind, they still had each other and I didn’t.”
This free spirited troubadour has produced a sound that persists, each verse increasingly builds until eventually the lyricism pours, unrelenting from every one of his croons for kindness. With its lullaby sensibilities, and nostalgic echoes, a vast majority of notes featured are reminiscent to John Mayer’s first release Room For Squares. It gives the listener the ability to revel in all its evocative glories, paint their own backdrop and take from it what they deem necessary.
It’s hard to place Davis’ sound exactly, but there are no hesitations that Be Kind is a simple yet intricate piece of music that although easy to digest soon forces up feelings that are hard to keep down. A masterful tease from an artist who has only just begun what is bound to be a long winding road of resonating compositions.
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