Victor Davies’ third album, Hear the Sound, has much to live up to. His 2001 self-titled debut (Wood Records/JCR) was met with critical acclaim leading Q magazine to declare that “Davies' caressing tones could sell sunshine to an Australian". In 2003 his next album, Hoxton Popstars (Columbia Music/SPV), delivered a number one single in Japan (‘Fire’ held the spot for two weeks). This year’s release, Hear the Sound, which includes a duet with Grammy-nominated Brazilian artist Bebel Gilberto, shows all the signs of continuing this upward trajectory.
Victor’s distinctive sound is realised through his captivating fusion of Latin, soul, funk, jazz and acoustic aesthetics. While his music has proved popular around the world Hear the Sound will be somewhat of a homecoming for Victor as it is his first release on a U.K. label (V2/Nurture). Having established his talent overseas the recent musical shift towards authentic artists in Britain confirmed that the time is right for the Thai kickboxing East Londoner to pursue such achievements at home.
Hear the Sound continues the tradition of artists such as Terry Callier, Jon Lucien and Gilberto Gil while also seeing Victor give a nod to his soul roots with tunes that recall the Isley Brothers and Curtis Mayfield. The album is comprised of songs relating to the emotions and feelings associated with relationships – love, lust, and obsession – as well as addressing political and social issues.
As on previous albums, all songs are written and produced by Victor who also plays most of the instruments (everything except brass and strings). “I found this album easier to record than the others,” Victor says, “I wanted it to be easy to listen to so I approached the recording in a relaxed manner in order to create a warm, comfortable sound in production.”
For an artist who has always been proudly independent of other musicians, this album is noteworthy for including Victor’s first duet track. ‘Comigo (With Me)’ was recorded in Paris with Brazilian star Bebel Gilberto.
Victor says, “The idea was to do a real traditional kind of duet. I loved Bebel’s two previous albums so when she said she was into the track and would like to sing on it that was really cool. Bebel is very sweet and wears her emotions on her sleeve which comes across really well on ‘Comigo’.”
Bebel adds: “When I first heard Victor's song 'Comigo', I immediately connected to his sound. As soon as we decided to do the recording, we end up in Paris singing and having a good time. It was that delicious and easy. Victor is such a talent and I’m so happy to be part of this.”
The decision to call the album Hear the Sound is significant to Victor. “The title is about getting people to listen to the music: don’t get distracted by the hype or the image, just listen. It’s a real back to basics statement.”
Hear the Sound is due for release in March 2006 (Japan/Pony Canyon) and July 2006 (UK/V2 Nurture)