Elise Davis
Cactus


4.0
excellent

Review

by Atari STAFF
September 16th, 2018 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Taking in the scenery

In the last few months, several songwriters have really opened my eyes to the greatness of country music. It’s one of those genres I was completely ignorant about before, often making assumptions about artists before even hearing them. Which is funny, since many of the country songwriters I've fallen in love with have a ton in common with my favorite folk artists. Some of it is ass, but the same could be said of any genre. If you know where to look, it can be one of the most pleasant, expressive forms of music to grace your ears.

Maybe I’m just discovering it at the right time. This year has been incredibly kind to country songwriters, with notable albums like Kacey Musgrave’s Golden Hour getting wide recognition. But seemingly every other week there’s another hidden gem in the Americana/country wheelhouse that seems to go unnoticed. One of the latest examples would be Elise Davis’ Cactus, a bright country-pop album full of rich storytelling. If there’s one talent many of these artists share — much like folk music — it’s found in the vivid, intricate lyricism. If this was a book, the colorful writing would seemingly be flying off the pages. “Married Young” tackles the topic of young love, sugarcoating nothing as Davis’ towering vocals recall each personal, gritty detail. We all must start somewhere, and Davis takes lines like dirty white carpet/your sh*tty little apartment you paid $200 for and provides contrast with others like making love in the back seat, babe/that's what made the world go 'round. Romance isn’t perfect, and “Married Young” is a striking portrait of love at a young age. There are some tender strings and guitars, but Davis’ powerful voice and lyrics do some major heavy lifting here.

As poignant as Cactus can be, it’s also quite playful at times. Davis sounds quite sarcastic on the title track, comparing herself to dandelions, fireflies and much more with a witty delivery. “Man” is similar with its wordplay, but gets more fierce when comparing a real man to one who just likes convenience and ***ing with no meaning. Elise Davis’ vocals may not seem unique compared to some of her peers, but her expressive tone and delivery make the perfect fit for her brand of country-pop. Where Cactus really shines, though, is in the vibrant and detailed storytelling she pours into each lyric. She writes these songs as if she’s in the room when these things are happening, and it shows. Whether questioning one’s status in life at age 33 or expressing her love for nature, Davis leaves no stone unturned – taking in the scenery around her and offering the listener a front-row seat. Not unlike Musgraves’ latest, Cactus is a rich collection of pop tunes that come to life through personal expression. It’s just another reason to listen to country in 2018, but at this rate, it won’t be the last.



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user ratings (9)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Staff Reviewer
September 16th 2018


23788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Not sure it’s streaming but it’s on Spotify/Apple Music



The songwriting here is incredible. “Married Young” and “Lone Wolf” are especially good

Digging: Outer Heaven - Realms Of Eternal Decay

luci
September 16th 2018


10046 Comments


great review, you sell this record well! might check, the kacey comparisons are tempting (although no one is gonna beat her from the pop side of things).

Atari
Staff Reviewer
September 16th 2018


23788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Thanks for reading man! Hope she won’t disappoint but try not to stack her up againt against Musgraves. I know how much you dig her latest lol.



“Married Young” is what sold me on this, but now I think several tracks are potentially better

Lucman
September 16th 2018


1074 Comments


That album cover has got me curious.

Digging: mewithoutYou - [Untitled]

Atari
Staff Reviewer
September 16th 2018


23788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

album art made the summary easy, haha



JesperL
September 17th 2018


297 Comments


album art is what made me check this out before even reading the review. enjoying it so far!

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
September 17th 2018


2922 Comments


thought this was another review of singularity for a second but was pleasantly surprised

Digging: Malthusian - Across Deaths

Evok
September 17th 2018


7426 Comments


having a hell of a time finding a dl for this album dammit.

Digging: Obliteration - Cenotaph Obscure

BenThatsMyJamin
September 17th 2018


2035 Comments


"thought this was another review of singularity for a second but was pleasantly surprised"

Lol smae, might have to check this now



TwigTW
September 17th 2018


3425 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Enjoying the title track. The rest sounds good too... It is a good year for country pop.







The cover does look like Singularity. Is that Elise in the corner searching for a rave?

Digging: Elvis Costello - Look Now

Pho3nix
September 17th 2018


532 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm 'gon have to check this out! ^



The whole "country music sucks" meme is pretty old at this point

Dylan620
September 17th 2018


4187 Comments


This is lovely

ashcrash9
September 17th 2018


3013 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good plug, probably never would've heard of this otherwise

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
September 17th 2018


6675 Comments


cover art made me wonder if the mods thought i had passed away

neekafat
September 18th 2018


12520 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh man, think I'd dig?

Pho3nix
September 18th 2018


532 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

She reminds me of a young Lucinda Williams, very enjoyable record.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
September 18th 2018


23788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Glad people are enjoying this so far!



Yeah Neeka, I think you’ll likely dig this. Just don’t expect it to sound anything like that Shannen Moser ;)

neekafat
September 19th 2018


12520 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh no worries, I'll keep an open mind! I think I'll hold it back a bit for my cram list but I will for sure me checking (:

Atari
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2018


23788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Can’t get enough of that opener lately. Prolly the best country album of the year so far for me

neekafat
October 8th 2018


12520 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah that opener is a beaut, "Married Young" fucks me up



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