Sorry for the week-long, unannounced hiatus. This week was crazy busy as I worked seven days, studied for an exam, and then had practice for a play that I will be in. I came home after work every night very tired and wanted to go to bed early, thus not being able to focus on this blog. Sorry for disappearing!
For today’s blog post, I had the pleasure of being introduced to Welsh alt-rock musician Rhy Davis’ latest release Nouveau Mode. This release brought many nostalgic feelings to mind when I listen to this four-track EP. How can something so brand new bring back this feeling?
Well, read on to find out!
The four-track album starts off strong with a piece called “New York”. It’s a gritty rock piece that is full of energy starting on the first beat. The vocals mimicks this gritty feeling, which matches the instrumentation perfectly. Meanwhile, the song’s energy is upbeat and fast-paced. The song keeps the listener attuned throughout the whole song, maintaining the listener’s attention with its gritty musicality and fast tempo. It sort of reminds me of a grungier rock song from the 90s — maybe a faster pace version of Pearl Jam’s “Alive” with Eddie Vedder’s vocals.
The next tune is “Welcome to the New World”. The tempo is slower than the opening track. But, that doesn’t stop the song’s mood. It is still a jam that will make want to sway to with the help of the downbeats provided by the hi-hats. Another thing is that the sound of the guitar is dampened a bit to soften the mood. It still plays those edgy, grungy high notes. But for this track, the guitar takes a back seat with its softened sound. This is to make way for the song’s lyrics as the main character in this piece. They reflect our innermost desires of finally chasing those dreams that we yearn for. But, I have to say that the electric (Les Paul-like) guitar solo in the middle is a nice touch. It’s short yet sweet with its staccato-like nature.
“Faraway” comes in as the third track. Each release, whether it’s an EP or a full-length album, has that “slow track” that brings a calming, serene feeling after a set of lively songs. “Faraway” is that song for Nouveau Mode. The dampened Les Paul guitar sound has a riff reminds me of a slow-down version of The Killer’s “When You Were Young” somehow. With this softened and less gritty sound coming from the guitars, drums, bass, and even the vocals, one would think it would be best to skip over this “slow song”. Yet, you shouldn’t as the song’s atmosphere is lively and soothing.
“Into the Wild” finishes off the album with a mellow yet positive atmosphere. If I had to pick one song from this EP as my favorite, I would pick “Into the Wild”. One of the things I love about this song is the guitar sub-melody during the chorus. They are supposed to be supporting the vocalist, but it feels like this sub-melody is the main character with its unique melody. The guitar’s tone is also more down-to-earth. This type of sound found in “Into the Wild” is different from the previous tracks that feature a more gritter, high-tuned guitar. It’s a welcoming change!
Furthermore, I love the guitar solo during the bridge in “Into the Wild”. It is high-toned, but it brings a different sound from the rest of the song. It is not overbearing however as it fits perfectly with the other parts.
If you are a fan of the 90s rock scene with bands like The Rembrandts, Oasis, Blur, or Radiohead, then you must listen to Nouveau Mode. It also does feature a nostalgic alt-rock song that reminds you of the late 90s and even 2000s alt-rock. As the official site has said, Nouveau Mode features a grittier edge, which is well-balanced between the vocals and instrumentations. Nouveau Mode features a great blend of up-tempo, gritty, down-to-earth, and mellowness with the distinct four tracks.
About the Artist
Rhys Davis is a 22-year-old indie, an alternative rock musician from Wales. He is known for his anthem style tunes with a hint of that “Americana sound” together with slick and tasteful guitar lines and catchy “stick in your head” vocal hooks. Davis also brings a unique blend of a sonic boom to the mix. The Welsh musician, a past student of the ACM college Guildford, draws inspiration from a variety of musical genres and holds a deep respect for any musician who strives to get their music heard. If you like Jeff Buckley, Ryan Adams, John Mayer, it shouldn’t take you long to see where this young singer-songwriters inspiration lies. But if you listen carefully, you can also hear hints of The Foo Fighters and Stereophonics.
In August 2017, Davis released his EP entitled “Chasing light”. To date, it received good radio play in the UK, Canada, and the US. Then in October 2018, Davis released his new E.P “Nouveau Monde” which features four new tracks that have a grittier edge to them. The whole EP has a very live feel to it. To support the new release, various gigs have been planned all over the UK. Please come and support Rhys Davis if you can!