Cast Spells

Bright Works And Baton EP

Written by: TL on 31/07/2009 18:39:37

And so a long review of a long record is followed by a short review of a short record. "Bright Works And Baton" is the debut EP of Cast Spells, a moniker covering Dave Davison, whose daytime job is to sing lead in the band Maps & Atlases.. Whom I have never heard of before.. Sorry I guess, but let's talk about what his first solo release has to offer yeah?

As you might expect from a solo side-project such as this, we're dealing with songs that are mostly driven by acoustic guitar and then complimented by samples of bells, strings, piano keys and what not. So that's nothing you haven't heard before I'm sure, and neither is Dave's voice, a nasal and folky tenor that reminds me the most of Alec Ounsworth (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), Kevin Jones (The Snake The Cross The Crown) and Nathan Willet (Cold War Kids). Put it all together and you've got six songs that I would give the myspace labels indie / folk / pop.

So the expression isn't revolutionary, well, solo side-project, go figure - but are the songs any good? Well, yes and no. The EP opens strong with the bouncy and mildly catchy "Glamorous Glowing" and proceeds to provide a good, relatively cheerful listen throughout - and by cheerful I don't mean there's no melancholia, there is a bit, but still the overall mood is one that puts a slight smile on your face when you listen. Just check out second highlight "Potted Plant" as it closes in on its ending and Davison repeats the words "topple all the fences in your neighbours lawn".

However, this isn't exactly revolutionary either, and overall, it's hard to shake the feeling that "Bright Works And Baton EP" is a bit too relaxed and unambitious to ever sound like more than the side-project of some singer. Of course, this could be what Davison was aiming for, and if so he should be proud, since his songs here are both easily accessible and easily enjoyable. However, they're probably also quite easily forgetable, so if he means to do more than put a brief smile on the face of the occasional listener, he's going to have to up his ante next time around.

Download: Glamorous Glowing, Potted Plant
For The Fans Of: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Snake The Cross The Crown, Cold War Kids
Listen: myspace.com/castspells

Release Date July 2009
Sargent House

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