Reviews

Benjamin Lazar Davis
Nothing Matters

(11A)

5/10

Brooklyn’s Benjamin Lazar Davis already has a somewhat impressive portfolio of bands and collaborations to his name, notable amongst them a co-writing credit on Joan As Police Woman’s latest album, and involvement with the venerable Okkeril River.

This though is his first release as himself, and after a musical history like his, setting out one’s own artistic identity might be a daunting thing. Album opener ‘A Love Song Seven Ways’ is a lyrically clever, very delicate song; that delicacy most obviously carried in Davis’ vocals, poised on the cusp of falsetto and floating on a bed of eighties-tinged melody. Stylistically, this music is something like Elliot Smith meets a low-key Yeasayer – pure-sounding, chilled out, sometimes downbeat pop, with the occasional backdrop of a big sounding drum track.

But songs like ‘Somebody’s Speaking For Me’ verge on the ponderous and there is very little real heft to the rest of ‘Nothing Matters’, which possesses a lightness that is sometimes beguiling but is more often just too faint to have any meaningful impact whatsoever. At times it flows very easily, and pleasantly, like a sunny, ephemeral daydream; but ultimately it lacks the strength to make you want to go back to it.

New monthly memberships available

Here’s a new thing: our membership scheme now has a pay-monthly option, plus a load of exciting new digital stuff for people who support what we do. It’s actually excellent value, honest, and will help us continue to promote new independent artists and labels.

Sign up and you’ll receive our physical magazines delivered to your door, our digital editions, exclusive podcasts and playlists and access to our EXTREMELY glamorous Members Lounge. You’ll be the envy of all your friends.