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Jennifer Davies Interview
         
 
   

Jennifer Davies Talks 'Lapse Of Time' - The Spacelab Interview

By: Morgan Y. Evans
April 7, 2015

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I believe it was on the culturally omnipresent Instagram that I first discovered the resounding vibrance of Jennifer Davies. Liverpool's finest new pop singer also happens to be the most exciting pop constructionist I've personally encountered since Lorde blew up, someone just clearly going for it.

 

Aside from her voice being made for confessional verses and huge hooky choruses, her songs are potent and memorable. The dance club-ready “Silhouette” and kiss off pitch perfect Euro pop “Choke” are particular recent singles of hers that straddle eras of musical history and make it look easy, all in the name of great writing. Add in her charismatic but strong persona behind those deep eyes and striking looks and you've got a potential star.

 

"Disconnected" is another track that describes the emotional risks of love perhaps being better through keeping up walls and keeping some things at arms length. It's interesting that she sings of fearing rejection but portrays a visual confidence (including some very 80’s classic music video styling elements here and there). The whole EP deals with distances, whether internal frontiers of bravery, romance or the push/pull between confidence and independence or the feeling of loneliness. She makes even the more grandiose moments of her songs feel as important as reaching up and touching the heavens. Not a bad thing when you're looking for sing-along anthems to inspire you to make your mark as this life zooms by.


Either vulnerable or bold, the way Davies owns her material and the visual evidence of her rock solid work ethic will ensure she gets a buzz amongst those with cultivated musical tastes. She's fashionable, fierce and of the moment, but just as aware that time is fleeting and feelings can both last or evolve. It’s going to be so interesting to see where she goes next.

 


Spacelab - Lapse Of Time has some great music on it. What struck me first was your visual aesthetic, however. Your videos blend fashion chic, the fast pace of modern life and a sense of interaction with your environment really well. There’s something about your ability to stand out but also humanize the often existentially dispassionate city environments around you , which is kind of funny since you sing “Disconnected.” Do people just want to shut off from things sometimes?


Jennifer Davies - I think people (myself included) can get caught up in worrying about what other people think, or where they should be in accordance to the societal “norm.” Lapse Of Time was about focusing on the things that actually matter in life. Like family, friends, love etc. The city was used to symbolize the rushing around, working too hard, not stopping to take stock of the little things that matter. It also symbolised the fact that even though you can be surrounded by thousands of people, you can still feel very alone if you don’t have your priorities right. The mountains represented all that is calm and tranquil. The beautiful power of nature and it’s ability to heal. It doesn’t cost a thing to see those wonders. I guess those sections of the video symbolised the fact that we should take time to enjoy those things because when all is said and done its the little memories that we will hold dear.


Spacelab - Have you always loved singing? Did you grow up in Liverpool? I love that you list your music as pop, though I feel it is much more artful than much things tagged with that genre. It's at times eclectic and modern but really has huge hooks without the gross bubble gum feeling.


Jennifer Davies - I grew up in Chester but have lived in Liverpool for 10 years now. I’ve always lived in the North-West. I loved performing from a very young age. Piano & dancing came first, then I got braver and decided I wanted to sing.


I list it as pop because that’s what it is. I personally love the term “pop”...it encompasses so much and in many ways has no stylistic restrictions like a lot of genres sometimes do. I’m not restricted by tempo or what instruments I need to use etc. etc. when I’m working under the pop umbrella.


Spacelab - You, or someone like Bebe Rexha (love her) seem to manage to be strong while conveying a vulnerable side but also really own your imagery. Do you feel like it's better to be honest than aim for “perfection” in a look or song? I think it makes things more interesting.


Jennifer Davies - I’ve learned that it’s always best to be honest. I never want to feel like I’m putting on an act with my music. To me performance is about expression. I get really caught up in a moment when performing.  


Spacelab - How did you become friends with Nabil Nayal, the fashion designer? The video you did built around themes of jealousy in your song “Choke” using his SS15 collection is pretty hot, really feels fierce.


Jennifer Davies - Thank you, yes I loved making that video so much. So much drama! I met him several years ago through my video director Peter Wormleighton who has directed all my videos for the EP. We work very closely as a tight knit trio. We are completely honest with each other and always encourage each other to be the best we can be. It’s important to have that trust with the people you work with.


Spacelab - Are you really marathon training? I saw that on your Facebook. I love long distance running. Care for a coffee and a jog? I'm on another continent. haha. No, but really ... it seems like more performers are realizing it’s good to be in shape instead of like, chain smoking cigarettes to look rock n roll "cool" or whatever. I need to go do some crunches cuz I have a winter food belly right now.


Jennifer Davies - Yes I really am!!! I’m running it for an amazing charity called Music Place North West who help all sorts of people through music therapy sessions. I believe everybody should have access to music.


Spacelab - Were you inspired by Cocteau Twins or any other kind of 80's standouts? Your presentation and vocal style is more bold, but you kind of seamlessly blend modern pop with more esoteric and cult influences. I love danceable anthems like "Choke" when they come around in a blue moon because it's relatable but also a new listening experience with a few familiar elements. Did you feel like a badass in the video when you stood on the windswept bluff holding the giant silver flag? Such a cool shot! Where is that?!


Jennifer Davies - I love all sorts of 80’s pop, yeah. I love eccentric British style and the 80’s were great for that. Haha, looking back I feel like a badass but at the time I was quite fearful of getting swept away, it was all a bit daft really but we got the “money shot” so it was totally worth it!!! We filmed it on the Isle Of Skye in Scotland. It’s incredibly beautiful up there. I drove for 12 hours straight to get us there from Liverpool.


Spacelab - How did you approach the song arrangement and production for the EP? It’s like all singles but none of them suck!


Jennifer Davies - Tord Knudsen and I wrote all the songs just as demos to begin with. Then we picked our favourites and took them in to Elevator Studios, Liverpool, where we recorded them properly and spent a long time picking out sounds with engineer Rob Whiteley. I just wanted to put out a small body of work right away that meant that if people discovered it then they have four tracks to listen to which represent what I’m about as an artist.


Spacelab - Have you traveled a lot? Anyplace that calls out to you?


Jennifer Davies - I’ve travelled the UK a lot touring with my old band. There’s so much to see even without going abroad. I’ve not done nearly as much traveling as I’d like to globally though. I went to Thailand for the first time last year. They call it the land of smiles and I now know why. I just loved everything about it.


Spacelab - How did you decide on Lapse of Time as the title? I think of a camera shutter or Uma in Pulp Fiction talking about “uncomfortable silences.”


Jennifer Davies - It just made sense. It was one of the first tracks we wrote. I think the whole video and imagery is really striking and I love the meaning of the song. It was like a note to myself to not be so tough on myself and to enjoy the things in life which are free.

 

 
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