Last week, local label Pop Drone released the first single of an upcoming album from ex-pat Ottawan, Toronto-based Owen Davies. “Medicine Man” is one track from a full-length album by the name of Mystic, set to be released in spring 2015. The mystical sound of this single prepares us for the musicianship that is yet to come, a nine-song trip into Davies’ mind. This plot of land still has many gems to be unearthed.
Having started out as frontman for alt-rock trio James & Blackburn, Davies had begun his own eponymous journey into new folk a couple of years ago. His last J&B demos slowly evolved into his solo material (anticipate a reincarnation of “Sleeping Giant” without giggles at the end). His Mystic project has been a meticulous, patient exploration as he takes his time with his songs that strike the listener as very personal. What we hear in “Medicine Man” is a small piece of a larger puzzle that will continue to show more pieces as the fall slowly turns into winter. Small chimes & synth overtones give his raspy voice the feel of an instrument in itself. The image attached to the released song is of Davies in drag, splotched with colour — a hint as to what the video for this track will hold. If these Instagram snapshots are any indication, it will be nothing short of medicinal magic!