By Cathy Davey
This girl is a diamond. Or, more accurately, a mystical earth-princess of warmth and amber-shades nibbling on a toffee-apple and 'ooh'-ing at a bonfire who also happens to be able to write songs of such perfection (based on current evidence) that they've got you singing along three bars before they've even started.
A broken piano motif and teasing shaker flutter this musky ode to a frozen-hearted male into life, whereupon the Irish sylph's dulcet nymph-like pixie-angel tones begin to twirl and pirouette, charming their way into the stoniest of souls. Her characteristic thumpy bass and organic, rootsy drums provide a subtle contrast, blending in with her lighter-than-a-feather vocals to create something at first glance sweet and floaty, at second look more grumbly, folksy and traditional. Her music has a certain carefree brightness combined with a more moody duskiness - the same is true of her mature, evocative lyrics: 'It's a cold man's nightmare to be warm...he's to go through fire to make sure that's where he stays...for every warm embrace he acquires a taste of getting burned'. There is a simplicity in the hookline 'I'm always thinkin' of you', yet it's not transparent, wrapped up in swathes of autumnal shawls and scarves. Tinged, not soaked, with the chill of heartache, 'Cold Man's Nightmare' is likely to remind you of your emotional wounds and then soothe them gently, rather than rip them open and expose them to the whipping, freezing elements - in other words, it's about healing and understanding with a nostalgic eye rather than a cruel awakening to the painful present or the here and now.
In short, Miss. Davey's new song is a romantic, russet-coloured glow that dips all your photos in sepia and dusts all your windows with frost. It only makes me even MORE peeved that I missed her and 22-20s AND the delightful little cherub-boy that is Willy Mason all playing under the same roof in our pretty little city the other night, due to me having something far less interesting to do. Bah, humbug!