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Music: ‘Artificial Happiness’

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Submitted Photo Emily Davis and the Murder Police.

El Paso Texas-based folk/punk rockers Emily Davis and the Murder Police release new single

Submitted

Emily Davis and the Murder Police (EDMP), the iconic Southwest-U.S.-based folk-punk quartet fronted by songwriter Emily Davis, released in April their upcoming single “Artificial Happiness.” The song is an intense journey — an amalgamation of classic driving punk drum and bass, locking in with ripping surf-inspired lead guitar lines, acoustic guitar strums and Emily’s gorgeously emotive vocals, singing of escapism through substance abuse. Having been inspired by a conversation with an alcoholic homeless man about the reasons for his continued drinking, Davis and the band have been refining the song for the better part of a year. The lyrics touch on — obviously given the context — dark subjects, but the mood is rowdy, passionate and intense simultaneously — a style EDMP has perfected through their years as a band and Davis’ history as a songwriter. Produced by industry veteran Chris Common (Minus the Bear, Chelsea Wolfe, Le Butcherettes) and expertly recorded at Brainville Studios in Davis’ hometown of El Paso, Texas, the song is a powerful testament to her and the band’s songwriting skills and depth of emotional palette.

“Trade me one ugly truth/For a hundred charming lies” Davis sings with a hint of disappointment in her voice on “Artificial Happiness” — turned at the society that has led to this manufactured, artificial happiness the song is named after. With the song’s inception in mind, she cries, “‘cause I’m bored every morning and I die every night. But for now, we’ll settle for these shallow sips. But for now, we’ll bathe in this manufactured bliss,’” exploring the headspace one occupies in times of desperation for anything but despair, hopelessness and sadness. The rest of the band ensures that the journey “Artificial Happiness” takes the audience on as a whole, only intensifies and emphasizes the emotional power of Davis’ lyrics and performance.

Davis, and her “heart-on-sleeve lyrics, biting wit, and her own brand of acoustic-electric folk-punk,” as El Paso Inc. describes it, brings a unique presence to the El Paso, Texas and Southwest U.S. music scenes. She and her band have some significant accomplishments under their belt, an especially notable one being their recent tour with punk legends Bad Religion. Before that, in 2017, Davis toured solo with Bad Religion frontman Greg Graffin, supporting his at-the-time recently released solo record, “Millport.” Immediately after, they locally opened for alt-rock cult superstars Cold War Kids.

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Davis has got a curious anecdote about her rise to the national stage — her YouTube channel. Her Bad Religion covers were noticed by the band themselves, and deservedly so. Davis’ voice, undoubtedly inspired by the likes of Dolores O’Riordan, Shirley Ann Manson, Jenny Lewis and Neko Case, is an emotive one, to say the least. Her performances of the often stark, introspective lyrics she writes with expert precision are consistently front and center—they command attention, undoubtedly. The band only adds to that power her voice adds, with each member bringing their skilled performances to the mix to further empower each song.

The story of how Davis recruited these members is a classic one —she held auditions. After releasing her third solo album, The Worst Kind Of Curse, in 2015, she decided that a full-band was the future she was looking for. By the end of 2017, the current iteration of the band had formed, and the quartet had a record’s worth of material. They raised $11,000 on Kickstarter from fans who were eager to hear the new music so that the band could record and release the record, and on Oct. 5, 2018, “Same Old World” was released. The full band’s debut record features a mix of ‘90s-inspired alternative rock, folk and punk, to form a sound that Davis and the band have curated into one that is uniquely its own.

For more information, visit emilydavis.bandcamp.com/album/same-old-world-emily-davis-and-the-murder-police.