Daniel Davies - Ghost of the Heart

Daniel Davies – Ghost of the Heart (Album Review)

Daniel Davies

For some, emerging from the shadows of their family’s legacy is a daunting task. Oftentimes they are associated with the fame of a parent, aunt/uncle, or whoever, only to be overlooked for their own distinctions. Then there are others like Daniel Davies who has been standing firmly on his own two feet as a creative force for two decades and counting.

With a bloodline of Rock-n-Roll running through his veins, Daniel Davies is indeed the nephew of The Kinks legendary lead Songwriter Ray Davies, the son of the band’s Lead Guitarist Dave Davies, but also the godson of the iconic Filmmaker John Carpenter. With all of this in his chemistry, Daniel Davies has not missed a beat in his own journey; early on working with bands like Year Long Disaster and Karma to Burn, before eventually launching a solo career. Later on joining up with John Carpenter, along with Cody Carpenter (John’s son) for a list of extraordinary instrumental albums, Daniel Davies has also worked on several film soundtracks along the way too. Collaborating and growing with each passing recording, now in 2024 he returns with his latest solo effort, Ghost of the Heart.

Set for release on June 21st through Sacred Bones, Ghost of the Heart marks his third overall proper solo full-length and first since 2020’s Signals. Now, looking at his last two albums – 2018’s Event Score and the aforementioned Signals – each could be looked at as an extension of Davies’ compositional work that he has excelled with over the last decade or so. Instrumental records, both heavily saturated with warm synthesizers that engulf you in a dark melodic daydream, Ghost of the Heart takes on a vastly different approach. This time turning toward a more Alternative Rock sound, Davies shows off his ability to craft songs that are both catchy and unique in the same breath.

Nine songs in total, Ghost of the Heart features primarily instruments such guitars, drums, and bass, but all with an underlined usage of some electronic tones that add a particular atmosphere. On top of this, Davies also sings for each track, creating textured Rock music that will please fans of The Editors, Muse, Interpol, or even The Bravery. Just a few comparisons to let you understand where this album may pique interest, the songs themselves are exceptionally well composed in a way that marries Davies’ Rock-n-Roll roots with his film composition side. Providing further explanation into what this means, you have guitar driven foundations with solid vocals, matched with a keen sense of atmospheric subtleness that push and pull all at the right moments.

Some songs are more direct than others, but each has something worth digging into with the mixture of colors that range from moody and mysterious, to brighter and soaring. With this, songs like “I Know Why” and “Wait” lead the charge with hooky vocals/guitar riffs, while others like “Those Eyes,” as well as “It Takes A lot” take you down more of a Synth Rock path. However, not to be overlooked, you also have the more dance driven title-track that is offset by the absolute dazzling and downbeat “Big Crush.”

In all, Daniel Davies shows that his versatility as a songwriter is something rather special. He gives you so much to play with here that it is hard to get bored with any of the songs, and if anything, this album should broaden his audience up to those who enjoy thoughtful Alternative Rock music. That is why Cryptic Rock gives Ghost of the Heart 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Daniel Davies - Ghost of the Heart album
Daniel Davies – Ghost of the Heart / Sacred Bones

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