On “What Happened To Romance,” Nashville-based crooner Steven Davis reminisces on love with a booming voice that brings to mind a past era of singing greats like Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra.
The album is a throwback to the jazz and swing “American Standard” sound of the ’40s and focuses on sharp melodies and meaningful lyrics to transport the listener back in time to that era.
“There’s something about the uncomplicated simplicity of this style of music and lyrically driven music where the lyrics really do matter and the melody structure really does matter,” Davis said. “That is attractive to me.”
The album’s lead single “Perfectly Perfect” is already featured in an international commercial. It showcases a thick layer of big band instruments that provide a “perfectly perfect” backdrop for Davis’ crisp and smooth voice.
“The lyrics are really wild and they’re really different than all the other lyrics we’ve written,” he said. “But there’s this overall feeling that just puts you in a good mood and a good headspace and it makes you feel positive.”
The singer moved from Omaha, Neb., to Los Angeles in his 20s and cut his teeth performing and recording there and later in New York. He eventually moved to Nashville to record a pop album in the early 2000s and initially had no intention of staying there.
“I thought I was going to be there for six months, but man plans and God laughs,” he said. “I ended up staying there for 13 years.”
Davis called on the pop production team of Josh Charles and Alissa Morena of The 88s to co-write “What Happened To Romance.”
“Every time we sit down together the three of us, we write a song in a few hours,” he said. “I’m having an amazing time writing with them because it’s really allowing me to take this musical journey and accelerate it much faster.”
“What Happened To Romance” was recorded in New York with Andy Farber and The After Midnight Orchestra, which features members of the legendary Count Basie and Duke Ellington bands and has performed with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett.
“These guys are a one celled breathing organism,” Davis said. “Because they have played together so much and know each other, and because Andy was at the helm, it was a joy and a real privilege to work with them.”
The themes of the album talk about the universal language of romance and how even though the world has changed, love and the way we show affection has not.
“The ways that we meet one another has changed because of social media and technology, but the essence is the same,” Davis said. “There is a constant and it is romance.”
After a career that includes performing with Tony Bennett and being written about by the New York Times, Davis said he is now at a point where song writing and making music has become more of a relaxing process than one to bring to stress into his life.
“Sometimes when you’re really young and you’re chasing this dream in this business, your ambition can sometimes blind you in a certain way and withhold from you the very thing that you’re seeking,” he said. “Now, I can just find the breath inside of the experience, enjoy the process, and not be so worried about where this is going to take me and how successful I’m going to be.”
“What Happened To Romance” will be released on June 23. The singer plans to release a Christmas album later this year that is once again co-written by The 88s.
To hear more, visit stevendavismusic.com.
• Jacob Goldstein, a senior at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, is an intern for GetOut. Contact him at (480) 898-6514 or email@example.com.
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