Stuart Davis is something of a 21st century renaissance man. Practicing Zen Buddhist monk, author, stand up comedian, graphic artist and soon-to-be host of his own tongue-in-cheek AXSTV (formerly HDNET) show, the Minnesota-raised performer still considers his role as "singer/songwriter" his day job and his latest glossy alternative-pop album convincingly backs up that claim. Produced by Alex Gibson, the tellingly titled Music For Mortals explores themes of death and spiritual awakening with most songs written during the last bleak and painful year of his fathers' life. "It was brutal gift, letting go of my dad," Davis says. "It pulled me closer to everything -- darkness, impermanence -- but also profound love. His death moved through us like a mysterious storm. I kept sifting through the debris, and finding songs." But while Davis lyrically takes an introspective approach, Mortals offers up some vibrant and lush melodies, balancing a handful of energetic riff/rockers with more intricately tailored folk-tronica outfittings. "Beautiful Place" and "They're Already Here" would work easily in a Gotye segue, pulsing rhythms, synths and infectious bass lines adding counterbalance to the shimmering waves of guitar.
Stuart Davis - "A Beautiful Place" (from Music for Mortals)
Stuart Davis - "They're Already Here" (from Music for Mortals)