Southend-based songwriter Davey Hal has released his debut album Materials Logic; and it’s an experimental, unusual, but beautiful first offering. Not many records can fuse Jazz, Folk, and alternative concepts together effectively; but on Materials Logic Davey seems to have found a way to make this work.
‘Soothe The Grey’ opens the record with hypnotic grand piano, and introduces listeners to Davey’s layered vocals, which add an eerie but elegant dimension to the track. His lyrical allusions to royalty might wash over you, but the track is as soothing as it’s name suggests and is remarkably easy on the ear.
Second track ‘Night Walking’ takes a completely different direction. It jazzes things up with simmering percussion and funky basslines that will make you want to “crawl along the wall” under the moonlight with Davey’s husky voice. ‘White Walls’ is another musical U-turn, and is stripped back to vocals, guitar, and piano which makes for a melancholy listen.
Instrumental fourth track ‘Berdou’ offers listeners a chance to reflect on what they’ve already heard, before the lo-fi but optimistic ‘Run With Me’ lightens the mood. The eponymously named ‘Materials Logic’ feels like an ode to endurance, and the lyric “Having the hope to persist is a start” is one that resonates long after the track has finished playing.
‘Fingertips’ has a similar stripped back style to ‘White Walls’, but there’s less melancholy here. It’s a breezy, romantic offering which allows Davey to extrapolate about his seaside town muse: “On a beach I have you framed, with blue skies and purple waves”. This image fades in to more grand piano on the heavily named ‘Your Stone’, before Davey falls back in to romantic uncertainty on ‘Up Into Her Clouds’. The gentle images of comfort and change in this track are particularly poignant – “I can’t make sure the sun come out, but I could easily warm your hands” – but as with all storms, this one has to pass too.
Penultimate track ‘Dear Mary’ is an eerie listen, and closer ‘My Senses’ gently concludes this eclectic debut. Materials Logic will appeal to those who are in transition. It’s weaving of different genres, romantic yet distant concepts, and skilled musicianship makes Davey Hals’ first record a worthy listen.