Daniel Davies
Ghost of the Heart

$14.00

In the last decade, Daniel Davies has become a lauded composer of atmospheric, synth-heavy instrumental music—for film and TV scores, alongside John Carpenter on the director’s Lost Themes albums, and on solo releases like Signals and Spies. But in his previous musical life, Davies was a rocker, touring all over the world with heavy bands like Year Long Disaster and Karma to Burn. With his new solo album, Ghost of the Heart, Davies returns to the alt-rock sound he had temporarily set aside, bolstering it with the things he’s learned making soundtracks and instrumental music. 

After a decade of making music that either had to match a filmed image or create a mental one, he sounds liberated by the concrete, reliable logic of verse/chorus/verse. The songs on Ghost of the Heart don’t fit neatly into any one subgenre: they’re moody, heavy, and a little proggy, but with a strong pop sensibility and lots of melody. The album divulges Davies’ affinity for hooky, forward-thinking bands like Radiohead and Blur, but more than anything, Ghost of the Heart feels natural, like he’s tapping back into something fundamental about himself as a musician. “My first love is writing rock songs,” Davies says. “It just felt like the right time to get back to it.” 

In the years that Davies spent away from his rock-guitarist roots, he honed a parallel skillset, one that shows up all over Ghost of the Heart. He learned how to record himself, which meant he could easily toy with song ideas without the pressure of a studio deadline. Through his collaborations with John and Cody Carpenter, he became a synth wizard. Keyboards were never a big part of Davies’ early rock bands, but on Ghost of the Heart, they’re a crucial counterpoint to the guitar work. The most important thing that working on soundtracks taught him was to remove his own mental blocks and let the ideas flow.  

Davies recorded Ghost of the Heart over the course of 2023 with the producer John Spiker, his longtime friend and collaborator. Spiker also contributes bass, while Matt Flynn plays drums. Everything else on the record is performed by Davies, including all the vocals—an element he hadn’t used this much in quite a while. After spending a decade making almost entirely instrumental music, he was excited to get back into the booth. 

Ghost of the Heart is a special album for Davies. It sees him returning to his origins in rock music, but it also couldn’t have been made without the lessons of his time in the film world. In the truest sense, it’s a career-defining work, one that showcases everything he’s learned in his decades as a musician. It reveals a door that, now opened, can take Davies anywhere he wants to go. 

As he did for his 2020 full-length Signals, Davies teamed up with acclaimed visual artist Jesse Draxler for the artwork. The stark, black-and-white piece that Draxler contributed for the cover of Spies perfectly captures the mood of the record. Eyes are cut out, disassociated from faces, their gazes made inscrutable. Yet they seem to fix on the listener. Have you ever felt like you're being watched? Maybe you are.

***Sacred Bones Edition: Blue Wave Vinyl, edition of 250 available by mail-order only. ONE PER PERSON LIMIT.***

***Sacred Bones Record Society version: Edition of 150 hand-numbered copies, comes with alternate screen printed, wax-sealed wrap around sleeve, LP pressed on Society-exclusive Coke Bottle with Black Marble vinyl w/ Bonus Tote Bag! ENROLL HERE.***

Release Date: 6/21/2024

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