Kyle Davis’ collaboration with Malaysian EDM producers and songwriters Vessbroz kicks off with a memorable start on the back of their first single “Nothing”. It’s an auspicious effort clocking in at a little over three and a half minutes and is guided, in tandem, by a trio of strengths – Davis’ spot-on singing, his lyrical content, and the unique musical confection supporting him courtesy of Vessbroz’s ingenuity is quite superior to much of what we hear from these artist’s contemporaries.
Davis isn’t content, as a songwriter, to merely try wringing remaining drops of drama from tired formulas. Instead, he twists listener’s expectations with a strong dose of the personal and even a dash of the poetic that sets his words far apart from the typical afterthought fare we are offered with such music. Davis sounds like an important artist in the making and both his singing and writing alike reflect a confidence and talent level far beyond his years.
One common knock on EDM music is how sterile it frequently sounds thanks to the overabundance of electronic instruments. This complaint finds less and less traction with each passing year as technological and studio advances have rendered much of the distance between analog and electronic as being in the ear of the beholder.
It’s a stretch for anyone to claim that “Nothing” lacks the warmth and humanity of the best music played on traditional instruments, but much of that accomplishment can lie at Kyle Davis’ feet. He does a little bit of everything with his performance on “Nothing” – it’s impossible to not be wowed by the vocal control he exhibits with a melody that often changes tempo, yet he never loses a single word of the lyric. The limits of his singing range come into play with dramatic results at certain parts of the song and he’s particularly effective with the choruses.
The writing of Kyle Davis, however, is the thing that helps push all of those aforementioned qualities higher into the stratosphere. Davis writes about experiences and emotions common to our lives in an individual way with a style that bears no obvious similarities to already established talents in the genre.
Music Grows Through Collaboration
VessBroz, likewise, take a different approach to their EDM style than we customarily hear. There’s no sense of overdoing things, trying to one up themselves with each new passage, that you might hear from other songwriting partnerships in this genre. Instead, there’s a clear sense of structure, but also a steadfast commitment in laying down the most inventive current sounds they can muster. Vessbroz sounds very much of their time rather than self-consciously trying to invoke the feel or approach from another era.
As a team they make a great go at that with the song “Nothing” and Kyle Davis, especially, comes out of this single sounding like a bonafide artistic force in the offing. It’s a wicked good opening shot from an album that’s likely to end the year on a lot of best-of lists.
-review byPamela Bellmore