"Growing up immersed in classical music, Shenandoah Davis creates heartbreaking, spine-tingling compositions which seamlessly combine the romantic piano swells of Debussy or Chopin with contemporary influences such as Owen Pallett, Joanna Newsom and Arthur Russell. An avid traveler and collaborator, she has toured the US, Japan, and Western Europe, worked with such ensembles as the Seattle Rock Orchestra and Portland Cello Project, and performed at some of North America's largest music festivals (SXSW, Bumbershoot, Sasquatch) while garnering praise from fans and critics back home for her 2008 debut " We; Camera" (Portland Mercury called the album "dangerous-but-beautiful"; Seattle Weekly said she played piano "flawlessly" and described her as "a special kind of talent").
Even as all this has been swirling around her, though, Davis has
composed a follow-up, The Company We Keep (self, Aug. 2011). Fan-funded
through Kickstarter and recorded by Alex Kostelnik in Seattle
(additional recording on the road in Denver and New York), the disc is a
fiercely poetic and emotionally artful assertion of her craft.
MUSICALLY, IT'S A NATURAL PROGRESSION FROM WE; CAMERA - PULLING FROM HER INTUITIVE SONIC LANDSCAPE, WITH ELEMENTS OF CLASSICAL, RAGTIME, AND CABARET MUSIC. HER PIANO CONTINUES TO LEAP BETWEEN RHYTHMS AND TIME SIGNATURES, AS IF IT'S FOLLOWING THE LYRICS DOWN A WINDING FOREST TRAIL. AT THE HELM OF IT ALL IS HER CLASSICALLY TRAINED VOICE - EQUAL PARTS WARBLY AND POWERFULLY DIRECT - THE BREEZE WHICH TICKLES TREE LEAVES BEFORE BILLOWING INTO SAILS. THEMATICALLY, THOUGH, IT'S MUCH MORE NUANCED AND COMPLEX. DRIVEN, SHE SAYS, BY -THE IDEA THAT NO ONE PERSON WILL EVER KNOW THE EXACT SAME VERSION OF YOU AS ANYONE ELSE, BECAUSE WE ARE ALL DEFINED BY OUR EXPERIENCES. "THE COMPANY WE KEEP" PRESENTS SNAPSHOTS OF INTENSELY PERSONAL MOMENTS BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE. THOUGH SMALL IN SCOPE, THESE ARE THE INTERACTIONS WHICH DEFINE AND INFLUENCE EVERY RESULTING MOMENT, UNFOLDING OUR LIVES INTO A SERIES OF PATHS WE EITHER FOLLOW OR FORGE WITH THOSE AROUND US. FROM THE SARATOGA, NY, RACETRACK AND PARK WHERE SHE SPENT HER TEEN YEARS ("THE LOUDEST") TO THE HOME SHE ONCE SHARED WITH A LOVER ("SEPARATE HOUSES"), THE SONGS ON THE COMPANY WE KEEP TIE TOGETHER THE EXPERIENCES WHICH HAVE BROUGHT DAVIS - AND HER MUSIC - THIS FAR. THE QUESTION THE ALBUM SEEMS TO RAISE COMES IN "THRONE", WHERE SHE SINGS, "DO YOU KEEP TRACK OF WHERE ALL YOUR SEEDS HAVE BEEN SOWN?" UNDERSCORING THE RECORD'S IMPRESSIVE COHESION, SHE ANSWERS FOR HERSELF IN THE FINAL TRACK. WHEN ITS REFRAIN ("DON'T GO ANYWHERE WITHOUT ME NOW") REPEATS, THE LESSON OF THE ALBUM BECOMES CLEAR. SUCH A THING WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE - EVEN THOUGH A PERSON MAY NOT BE PHYSICALLY PRESENT, ONCE A FORMATIVE EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN SHARED, YOU CANNOT 'GO ANYWHERE WITHOUT [THEM].' FOR DAVIS, AT LEAST, IT WOULD SEEM THE 'SEEDS' ARE NEVER LEFT BEHIND. FOLLOWING THE AUGUST RELEASE OF "THE COMPANY WE KEEP", DAVIS WILL BE EMBARKING ON HER WILDEST ADVENTURE YET - A FOUR-MONTH TOUR OF THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES FOLLOWED BY TWO MONTHS IN NEW ZEALAND WITH CELLIST DANAH OLIVETREE AND MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST ETHAN DEMAREST."
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