- I'd wager that Seven Davis Jr is a Prince fan. On his debut for Must Have Records, the LA artist triple-distills the barebones funk sound of Minneapolis circa 1981, and infuses it with some raw house soul. (See his cover of "Controversy" for that exact plan in action.) "One" isn't much more than a drum machine and a bassline, with the barest flicker of synth lighting up occasionally. But like last year's Omar-S vocal anthem "S.E.X.," it has a throb so overtly sexual that the drum machine is basically grinding up on you. The track is fuelled almost entirely by the Davis's multi-tracked vocals, which are raspy and world-weary yet strong enough to carry the tune.
The lovelorn "Breaker" is spiced up with a light sprinkling of keys. Riding the groove rather than filling the space, Davis curls phrases like "I hope someone breaks your heart" slowly around the bars, as if he wants the sting to linger. The appropriately titled "Loud Mix" of "All Kinds" is much crunchier, the EP's rawest moment. The other two tracks are more reflective, though still with odd slants: the kitchen-sink funk of "Open Up" drowns itself in filters, while the svelte surface of "Leave A Message" is torn by a serrated snare that'll make you wince every time it hits. With an obvious lock on both emotive vocals and smart production, it's all the more impressive Davis manages to make pop so indelible with only two or three elements.
B1 All Kinds (Loud Mix)
B2 Open Up
B3 Leave A Message