Mikaela Davis - Delivery: Harp-e Diem
>> Mikaela Davis is one of the biggest names in Rochester’s music scene. After a record deal and tour with Bon Iver, she’s back on the scene with a new full-length album.
Mikaela isn’t afraid to be unusual, even compared to her own older works. “Delivery” is far-reaching, with an assortment of sounds beyond anything we’ve heard out of Mikaela’s past works. From downtempo and heartfelt to lo-fi and angry, every emotion you’re looking for is here. Mikaela’s always been a master of plucking melancholy from her harp strings, but “Delivery” shows she’s got more than one trick up her sleeve.
“Delivery” also puts that record deal to good use through its exemplary mixing. The vocals never play second fiddle, they always stand out, yet the background instrumentation isn’t dumbed down in the process. Each member of the band can be clearly picked out without much effort, but as a whole, they never sound mismatched or cacophonous.
The one thing that’s lacking on “Delivery” is, oddly enough, Mikaela Davis. Whether it’s due to crowd responses or record label objections, there are a number of songs on the album where her harp is reduced to an accent tone. Without that signature sound, there are some tracks on “Delivery” that can veer into sounding generic. Is Mikaela trying to appeal to a new fan base, or appease the execs writing the checks?
Mikaela Davis is an amazing musician, and “Delivery” lives up to her name. With its wild mood swings and unparalleled mixing, “Delivery” is an album that aims to stand the test of time. Song after song, it does. The pitfalls, however, come within the first half of the album. Mikaela’s unique tone seems stifled on “Delivery”, whether by label sanitation or her own evolution as an artist. “Delivery” is a solid album, but it would be nice to have some more of that classic Mikaela tone. 3.8/5 <<