All photos used were taken by Kimberly Cadena during this awesome interview we did with John a while back.
Tonight, John Davis and his Title Tracks will face their faithful audience at Black Cat and present to them the songs from their new record “IN BLANK”, out now on Ernest Jenning Record Co and with a vinyl co-release on local hero record label Windian Records.
And while some things have stayed the same (Davis definitely still more than knows his way around a tight hook and a well turned out chorus) some things have also changed: the Title Tracks of “IN BLANK” are faster, looser, a touch dirty and decorated on top with some never-before-heard bass and even some touches of Doric organ. It is 32 minutes of non-stop push and we figured we’d ask John Davis to walk us through some of his favorite new Title Tracks tracks.
“Turn Your Face” – Maybe my favorite song from the new record, this one is about the transformations that most of us undergo and how they are often unwelcome. The opening line, “Gimme normalcy,” is actually a little personal in-joke, almost, even though it’s not a joke in the context of the song. But I got the line last summer during that long stretch of wild storms that seemed to blow through town every other week, taking out power, knocking down trees, stranding drivers, etc. I was driving down a street which was mostly blocked by a fallen tree and the other cars out there were driving erratically in its vicinity, as they had been for, seemingly, the entirety of the summer. This led to me to exclaim to myself, “Gimme normalcy!” As a patently un-rock’n’roll thing to utter, it struck me as a little funny and I remembered it when I was writing the words to “Turn Your Face” later that week.
“Winners Cry” – Probably my other favorite song from the record, this one is about people I know who have changed and, in my opinion, have lost part of what made them whole. It’s about the pursuit of oblivion and banality, all cloaked in the guise of the promised land. I suppose that the perils of change are a theme for this record, even
though change has been something that has been a steady and welcome companion throughout my musical life. I guess I’d just been thinking a lot about both the good and the bad things that change engenders when I was working on the words for these songs.
“All Tricks” – This one is about issues of authenticity in music. Now, authenticity is a contentious concept when it comes to the world of music. What is legitimate? What is a sham? This is all completely subjective and it’s considered pompous to say that you know which is which but, often, I think it’s pretty obvious when certain people are full of it. Overall, I guess this song addresses image and artifice in the forum of indie music.
“Forget The Ghost” – This song deviates most from the general musical tone of the record but I thought it was good to include it to divide things up a bit. In this song, I refer to different ghost stories I’ve heard throughout my life to discuss how we often have aspects of ourselves that we want to extinguish (and can hopefully do so). Still, you never know when you’ll hear those ghosts coming up the stairs in the middle of the night. This one is generally hopeful, though. I’m kind of asking people that had to deal with my ghosts, per se, to accept that I’ve tried to move past those things.
HEAR IS ALL LIVE TONIGHT @ BLACK CAT