The indie beach sound, with a hint of throwback to the 50s and 60s vibe, seems to be booming these days. Owen Davies nicely contributes to the trend with his song “Elephant Tusks,” which offers that slow swaying, waltzy, beachy sound with a wonderful combo of electric and acoustic guitars alongside a steady, gentle beat of a symbol and drums. It’s a simplistic rhythm that never goes wrong and succeeds in slowly pulling you into a place that puts you at ease. It creates an atmosphere that breathes fresh air and elicits the scene of a breezy summer day, or perhaps early fall, when the air is crisp. And yet there’s an urban feeling to it as well, something that fits in with the southern city vibe.
Davies seems to favor simplicity at its finest, noticeable by his other songs. The classic guitar and drums is a favorite. His music retains an atmospheric element that makes it the perfect pick when you need some good, relaxing background. But he likes to throw in a twist, most often instrumentally, in which he incorporates an additional unique instrument (like the saxophone in “There Is Nothing to Destroy”) or sound (like the out-of-tune piano riff in “Like A Stranger”).
Speaking of twists, there’s an instrumental twist in this song. Just a few seconds before the end, there’s the sudden introduction of an accordion, giving the song a shift into a kind of French flair. Suddenly we’re in Paris, with the daylight lowering over the city and people walking about, taking in the awe of everything. Davies is all about the atmosphere.
Davies’ high vocals pair perfectly with the music. After a mesmerizing intro, Davies comes in with his gorgeous vocals that especially blend in ideally with the guitars. Imagine Lord Huron just a pitch higher, both in voice and in instruments.
The message of the song appears to be about a man who has a habit of leaving his significant other in a cowardice way: in the middle of the night while they’re sleeping.
Lately I get carried away
And forget what keeps me around.
Did I have a reason
Leaving in the night?
However, during one of these escape drives, he realizes something, and it causes him to stop.
Why did I pull over
In doubt, in change of mind?
Nothing’s ever as bad as it seems
When you give it some time.
He’s done being this way. He wants to change.
Tired of leaving
While you were sleeping
I’m done messing around
Just like his other songs, Davies has a narrative style. There’s less emphasis on poetic rhyme and more interest in telling a story. And he tells it powerfully; he captures the listener’s attention, and they can’t help but let themselves be swept up in his story.
At the end of the day, Davies brings the realness, coolness, classic yet out-of-the-box sounds, and overall just good vibes that you’ll enjoy over and over again.