Ashley Davis – Night Travels
With Night Travels, Ashley Davis has produced a new set of songs due for release on 20th May 2014 that will inspire and delight. With her soothing voice and variety of guest vocalists, this is a modern folk record that balances originality and confidence in its genre.
Confidence is key throughout Night Travels – Ashley Davis’ involvement of a range of guests on the record testifies to her ability to incorporate additional vocals in ways that complement her own voice, rather than either distract from it or serve as a crutch. It’s clear that her skills as a singer are great, and if anything the use of other vocalists helps to emphasise her abilities.
On the album’s opening track, ‘His Bride I’ll Be’, we’re treated to a long, yearning violin as Ashley sings gently, before the first guest – Sara Watkins – enters the fray, immediately noticeable as a vocal contrast and adding a significant depth to the song’s construction. Furthermore, once Davis and Watkins begin singing together, it’s a beautiful combination of tones, strangely chilling and warming at the same time.
The gaelic elements of ‘I Follow You’ add to the celtic beauty and provide a sense of integrity and respect to the folk genre, while ‘Barbara Allen’ leans towards a Kate Rusby style of folk-song storytelling – always a compelling type of songwriting, with a melancholic fiddle serving as an interlude between verses. Moving into more upbeat territory, the album’s title track shifts into a bluegrass ditty, with banjos and accordions supporting the catchy melody.
‘In The Blue’ stands out as a particularly strong track on Night Travels, with Ashley Davis’s celtic tones coming through strongly and providing a heartbreaking chorus rich in depth and emotion, while ‘Beside You Near’ features a guest vocal from Clannad’s Moya Brennan, lending an airier tone and shifting towards a style closer to that of Enya.
Filled with confidence and skill, Ashely Davis’ Night Travels is a modern celtic folk record for today, filled with excellent musicianship and songwriting. Recommended.