There’s a widely contested statistic that continually makes itself known with any cocktail hour mention of Nashville’s present population growth-spurt – something along the lines of 85 people a day chose our fair city as the place to lay their roots. Validity of such civic statistical paraphrasing aside, you can’t help but think that a lot of those people are probably moving to Nashville in pursuit of the musical dream, and then there’s the thought of how many might run the risk of coming up short.
Then you think about the ones that do – like Elise Davis, a local-by-way-of-Arkansas, whose debut LP The Token, out on September 9th, via Thirty Tigers. The Token is Davis’ exploration of her innermost workings, examining her heavy Southern ties all the while searching for the truest form of herself. Lyrically, Davis’ prose presents (and embraces) a forthright candor most would shy away from on any album, much less a debut. Perhaps its just Davis’ immense understanding of purpose or maybe due to the fact The Token touts one of the more impressive backing bands in recent memory – Bradley Cool (Sharon Van Etten), Matt McCaughan (Bon Iver, Hiss Golden Messenger), Josh Kaufman (Day of the Dead).
Conceivably, Davis’ lyrical and musical comfort on The Token is due to myriad factors, including those mentioned earlier. In the larger scope, The Token serves as confirmation that Davis is and was always meant to come to Nashville. The Token may be Davis’ official introduction, but its quite apparent that we’ll become intimately familiar with her work throughout the foreseeable future.
Read on to see Elise Davis’ “Nashville Five (plus one).”
1- When asked to write this list some of my first thoughts were about food. Food is on my mind a lot. But, I didn’t want to make more than one thing on the list about food so I will just list my tops all in one:
Two Ten Jack ramen (the chicken one)
Rosepepper margaritas (a lot of them)
Smiling Elephant (every damn thing on the menu)
2- Brainfreeze Comics. This is the adult comic section located in the back of The Groove record store. Those who know me know I love to draw. This amazing little comic section is filled with tons of small short illustration and comic books that are all kinds of strange, vulgar, abstract, and awesome. Somedays I will go in there and spend hours going through their comics. That form of art makes me really happy and makes the weird shit going on inside my brain feel a little more at home.
3- Cornelia Fort Airpark. I somehow didn’t know about this place until I had been living in Nashville for several years. It was an airport built in 1944 that is no longer active. However the landing strip where planes used to land is now just this badass place you can go on walks and contemplate life. There are beautiful trails that it leads to as well. I take my dog there and let her roam while I jam out to old Wilco records and try to burn calories from the pizza I had eaten at 2am that morning.
4- The Ryman Auditorium.
5- The following combination of things is my favorite kind of Nashville night:
Front porch swing at my house on the east side, warm weather, fireflies and crickets, dog, beer, whiskey, and guitar. Nashville is small enough of a town to where I can sit out there and its totally quiet except for the sound of the bugs hitting the lights. A little whiskey buzz and my brain thinking about songs. I can’t get enough of it.
6- Ohhh, can I have one more?? I just luuuv Broadway on a friday night during CMA fest.. driving behind a pedal tavern………. 😉