CD Reviews

ERIKA DAVIES: Galaxy Lakes

For those who meet Miss Erika Davies for the very first time, it will come as no surprise that she possesses an exquisite, albeit celestial splendor; however, let it be said that her music, like her beauty, is classic pedigree. Just like the legendary nightingales that have preceded her – Billie Holliday, Sara Vaughan, Rosemary Clooney – Miss Davies’ own eternal flame burns as bright as a billion stars in the constellation.

With the debut release of Galaxy Lakes, Miss Davies revisits that chapter taken from the Great American musical storybook, where songs were spun into rich, narrative gold. Her early 20th-century vocal expressions harken back to those turbulent days of yesteryear, when Prohibition waged war on Al Capone’s men outside the heavily-guarded doors of Chicago speakeasies, and America was witness to the migration of thousands as they made their way across the barren plains of Oklahoma and Texas in search of a better life out West.

As a sentimental nod to the Great American musical storybook, Galaxy Lakes is awash in a rustic, sepia-tinted milieu. From the gorgeously sparse “Railroad Track” to the shimmering underwater escapades of “Deep Sea Dancer,” every song wears as finely pressed raiment. While Miss Davies wraps herself in this intimate apparel, she eventually shakes it loose, where it gathers as stardust at her feet.

The chanteuse unveils the stirrings of her heart in “We Are.” It is here one comes to understand the profundity of the love she cleaves for her man. The beautiful ode-to-morning “Ankles” chirps and trills as the curtains are pulled back to allow in light and tranquility.

Because amour knows no boundaries, Miss Davies’ passion for her lover resonates once more in “I Love You, I Do.” In the end her voyages through life will take her back to the one she truly adores. As she renders sage advice to the sisterhood, Miss Davies protests the debauched intentions of a no-good man in “Empty Shell,” while coyly teasing the unsuspecting in “Jing Me.” The enchantress also exercises her feminine wiles in “Robot Girl”; amid the throttle-and-charge of ragtime’s musical chairs, Miss Davies secures much needed emotional rescue through the timeless art of seduction.

The title track, “Galaxy Lakes,” has ultimately beckoned us all to its glorious shores. While Miss Davies has certainly achieved a great milestone in her career with this open book of dreams and memories, be assured that we will be looking toward the heavens to see if this aqueous oasis really does exist.

Give me a spoon
I’ll dig up to the Galaxy Lakes…faraway
I can’t tell if I’m sleeping
But I don’t think that I am awake

Beautiful dreamer, may you never awaken from your opulent slumber.

  • February 2012

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