If musician and composer Daniel Davies hadn’t ended up down the career path he had, it would have been shocking and a loss for us all. Given that Davies’ father is one half of the brothers Davies(the younger half Dave) of The Kinks fame and his Godfather is the Master of Horror himself John Carpenter, something was sure to stick. He even grew up living with Carpenter in his formative years for a time.
With that sort of nature/nurture thing happening in one’s life that creative mojo is sure to rub off on one in some form or another. The music bug did indeed rub off on Davies, which led to his stints in LA rock bands Year Long Disaster, Karma To Burn, and CKY back in the mid-to-late 2000s. The film aspect also came into play when Daniel began doing score work for films such as I, Frankenstein and Condemned, among others.
But his biggest musical adventure seems to be the one he’s been a part of since 2015. Davies joined John Carpenter and Carpenter’s son Cody in the studio for the Lost Themes album. What Davies thought would be a one time thing turned into three albums with Sacred Bones Records, including Lost Themes II and Anthology : Movie Themes 1974-1998 as well as an incredible run of live dates(which there will be more of in the fall.) Davies also worked with John and Cody Carpenter on the score for the new Halloween film arriving this October which was directed by David Gordon Green.
With a schedule like that, you’d think it would be impossible for someone to take the time for themselves and write and record a debut solo album. Well, unless that person is Daniel Davies. With some free time open back in the fall of 2017, Davies locked himself into his home studio alone with nothing but a room full of guitars, vintage and modern synths, and some recording gear. The fruits of his labor are here for all to enjoy on Davies’ debut album Events Score. The record is an all-instrumental affair that feels like both a collection of musical interludes for various cinematic scenes, but also plays beautifully as a long playing record of Gothic and melancholy songs. It makes for an extremely engaging musical experience.
The record opens with the exquisite and lilting “One 60 Clone”. There’s something very melancholy about this track, with its minor key variations that hang in the air as Davies builds around the fragile melody. There’s elements of John Carpenter’s work(how could there not be?), but Davies doesn’t rely on mining the past for ideas. He’s given the sci fi/horror angle a very modern and unique touch here. I would love to see this scoring a scene, but at the same time I’d hate to lose the visuals I’m creating on my own. I think that says a lot about Davies’ work here. “Single Machine” continues that low key vibe to stunning effect. Davies works in tasteful guitar lines over the synthesizers, giving the song sort of a late-80s Tangerine Dream feel. Where others might date their music by adding guitars, Davies adds just enough and keeps the sound subtle(much like his work on Carpenter’s Lost Themes albums) so as not to overdo the rock aesthetic. “Shadows Alive” was the first song released from Events Score and it was a great way to introduce the musical world we were stepping into. With hints of Fred Myrow & Malcolm Seagrave’s Phantasm score strewn throughout, as well as a healthy dose of Carpenter’s doomy sounds from The Fog, this is an amazing piece of Gothic dread.
Elsewhere, the tension-filled “XXT” builds suspense and anxiety with ominous keys, intricate percussive sounds, and staccato guitar. “Endless Blue” is a beautifully orchestrated ambient piece. It hangs in the air like a low-lying cloud on the verge of dissipation. “In Hiding” and “Body Obtained” pulsate with a sci-fi menace, while “Stasis” looms quietly like a mix of Vangelis and Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury’s subtle work from Ex_Machina. It’s an achingly beautiful piece, and a perfect way to end our musical journey.
Daniel Davies exceeds expectations with the exquisite and lush Events Score. He succeeds in both world building with these pieces, and also creating an engaging long playing album experience. The musical scenes come together cohesively to create an aural patchwork that opens ears and opens minds. He transcends both his influences and his heritage into something wholly unique and new in the imagined soundtrack world. Events Score is indeed an event.
8.2 out of 10