Presley Davis Jr Shares 3 Singles Across 3 Different Genres

Presley Davis Jr Shares 3 Singles Across 3 Different Genres

Whoever said two is company and three is a crowd clearly never witnessed three simultaneous singles released from singer-songwriter, actor and all-around compulsive creative Presley Davis Jr.

Today releasing three new singles of varying sonic shades, Presley flexes his balanced creative muscles, spanning sultry blues on How Can I, slinky, vintage jazz via Crazy, and bouncy bluegrass courtesy of Petunia. With all three singles also offering a peek behind the curtain into Presley’s upcoming three albums, Birdlife, Roadside Magnolia and Torana Americana which will all form into the amalgamated Eclecta Trifecta project set to release this July, genres and creativity take full flight in the capable hands of Presley Davis Jr; and there is truly something for everyone with his latest offerings. 

Flying the flag for blues and soul and taken from the impending album Birdlife, Presley’s first single How Can I swoons with nods to the likes of Albert King, Donny Hathaway and Mavis Staples, with its soft swagger and tempered sensuality showcasing Presley Davis Jr’s charismatic warmth as he regales a tale of tumultuous romance, as the man himself explains, “This song came to mind without much, lyrically, other than a few turns of phrase. I knew it was about someone who was living a double love life. I used details from a friend’s declining relationship which was a real cheat-fest to fill in the blanks.”

Next up, grab some old-timey jazz goodness courtesy of Crazy, aka Presley Davis Jr’s vintage take on the classic single penned by Willie Nelson and made famous by Patsy Cline, set to feature on the upcoming album Roadside Magnolia. Complete with sparking piano lines, stomping brass and oozing jazz flourishes, Presley’s Crazy is a stunning ode both to its source material, influences like Dr. John, Anders Osborne and Leon Redbone, and, ultimately, his very own upbringing. “My father was obsessed with tenor banjos and early jazz,” he shares. “The only other music he seemed to enjoy was Willie Nelson. Patsy Cline made this song famous, but Willie Nelson wrote it. One morning I woke up to find a recording of myself playing this country classic in this really old-time jazz style. It had been emailed to me from ‘Friday Night Presley’ if you know what I mean.”

And from sonic throwbacks and soulful swoons through to shimmering bluegrass, Presley’s sonic hat-trick rounds out today with Petunia, lifted from the upcoming album Torana Americana; a potent and rhythmic bouncing blast, laced with percolating strings, inspiration from Bill Monroe, Ricky Skaggs and Paul Kelly, and ultimately emerging as a jaunty ode to Presley’s real-life experiences, as he reveals, “Petunia is a slacker’s lament. Or in my case an undiagnosed ADHD lament. I never intentionally dragged my feet in life, but I have pancaked a lot and find myself constantly starting anew. Turns out this is common for people with my diagnoses. This song is basically for my partner who has always supported me.”

A creative chameleon, Presley Davis Jr’s experiences during the pandemic years led to the talented artist evaluating himself both professionally and personally and ultimately settling on the idea to release a three-album project, with all three albums in three different styles to release on the same day. Thus, the Eclecta Trifecta project was born, consisting of the forthcoming full-lengths Birdlife, Roadside Magnolia and Torana Americana. On Birdlife, Presley embraces rhythm and blues influences, exploring blues, funk and soul vibes that he was steeped in while playing in bands around Chicago and St Louis. For Roadside Magnolia, Presley presents a faithful old-time jazz record, honouring the music taught to him by his late father and featuring tenor banjo, tuba, piano, trombone, clarinet and vocals. And Torana Americana celebrates all things country, with bluegrass songs alongside traditional country and western tunes, all focused on harmony vocals and an array of boot-tappin’ tunes.

Starting work on his country and soul material first, Presley began the entire Eclecta Trifecta process on his own in Melbourne before connecting with some local industry friends to ultimately bring the three eclectic albums to fruition. With mixing courtesy of Alejandro Rosenblat (Roadside Magnolia) in Argentina and Jason Torrens (Birdlife and Torana Americana), and a global army of musicians, the Eclecta Trifecta is a celebration of styles, ingenuity and, ultimately, unbridled creativity. “I bought an interface, a few microphones and watched a lot of YouTube videos,” shares Presley of the creative process behindhis new material. “I just persisted and finished one track on my own. I then sent that to a few of my mates who know about recording. They encouraged me to continue. Jason Torrens was one of those mates. He owns Debasement Studios in Ferntree Gully Victoria and has worked with Bodyjar, You Am I, Slipknot, and he is Senior Program Leader at Collarts. I would record everything and edit things to the best of my ability and then upload the session for him to take over. That was the process for the country songs, and the soul songs. For the jazz songs, we did the drums and piano live with me playing and singing along. We recorded those bits at Four4ty studios in Eltham over 3 days. I then re-recorded the vocals, added banjo, guitar at my house. The best part of that was having Nathan Ford come around to my house to record the tuba for all my neighbours to hear – I had never recorded tuba before. And because of the pandemic, I ended up getting people from all over the world playing on these records, just sending their parts through.”

Adopting his stage name to honour Sammy Davis Jr., it seemed predestined that Presley Davis Jr would find himself immersed in the arts. Receiving his first guitar and tenor banjo at the age of eight from his father, a member of the Nicky Capodice Banjo Band, Presley was contracted to sing old jazz favourites six nights a week by the age of 17 and was touring North America by the age of 25, performing with different bands in different styles spanning bluegrass, blues, soul and rock. Eventually moving to his wife’s hometown of Melbourne, Presley would find himself hemmed in by the world’s longest lockdown during the pandemic years; but rather than dull his creativity, Presley turned to his work and aspired to conjure something entirely for himself, as he concludes, “Covid forced me to think about my mortality. I realised that for most of my musical career I have been a travelling performer. Playing gigs to pay my bills. I have recorded with bands, but I suddenly felt the need to do something for myself. It feels great to finally be releasing these tracks after so much time in the studio. For a while there, I thought the light at the end of the tunnel was accelerating away from me.”

How Can I, Crazy and Petunia are out today, Tuesday April 30.

Birdlife, Roadside Magnolia, and Torana Americana, aka the Eclecta Trifecta, are due out on Tuesday July 23.

Listen: HOW CAN I

Listen: CRAZY