Poetic Memory: Erika Davies (List)

If you’ve never heard Erika Davies, then you’ve never heard Shakespeare the way it’s meant to be sung. Her jazzy melodies scoop and flutter above delicately strummed ukulele in irresistible and intoxicating fashion. Serving up a cocktail of jazz standards and charming originals, Davies delivers an enchanting performance, anchored by gorgeous vocals and Amelie-esque charm.

Says Davies:

Before I sat to write this, I tried to recall my first memory of music. I couldn’t. It was as if I had to try and remember what it was like, exiting my mother’s slippery womb. I can, however, remember how tiny I was when singing to my first audience. How natural it felt just opening my soul to them. And how quiet everyone was, listening.

And from then on, music, it seems, has been drawn to me.

Miss Davies is currently hard at work penning her sophomore album, tentatively titled Nothing But A Note Thing, which she plans to record in January. You can catch her in two places this Saturday: she’ll be playing an early evening set at Golden Hill DIY venue The Habitat before scooting over to Air Conditioned for this year’s North Park Music Thing (formerly known as North By North Park). We’ve got Davies’ Poetic Memory list, as well as some additional tour dates, after the jump.

Poetic Memory is a regular Owl and Bear feature in which musicians disclose their influences—whether it’s albums, songs, artists, or something random. If you’re interested in being featured here, send us an email.

Erika Davies

Anything old and falling apart inspires me. Cracking old paint that is chipping off of old wood. Rusty metal with a patina as green as neon moss. Broken down towns, old cities, old people. Anything old with charm…or no charm.

Elegantly painted faces on album covers, faces on old vintage ads. Faces I’ve imagined while listening to velvety voices of long forgotten female vocalists buzzing and purring off the etched grooves of an old record.

French pastries, cakes, and sugared goodies, sparkly, colorful, shiny and delicate. Sweet tasting things that I wish I could survive off of.

Anything and everything I could possibly look at, touch with my hands, or feel with my soul, smell, taste, breathe, and hear. These are things that have inspired me to live. And inspire me to write and create my music.

I cannot make invisible the musicians who have been carriers, channeling music into my life. In no obvious order, here are a few of my musical influences. If I fancy more than one song on it, I’ve listed the album. Favorite songs are in quotations:

Peggy Lee
Judy Garland
Ella Fitzgerald
Boswell Sisters – Shout Sister Shout
Alison Krauss & Union Station – Live
The Cranberries
Edith Piaf – “Non je ne regrette rien”
The Carpenters
Hole – “She Walks on Me”
Madonna – In the Beginning – “Laugh to Keep From Crying”
Bjork – “Unravel”
Sugarcubes – “Birthday”
Wynonna Judd
Smashing Pumpkins – Gish & Greatest Hits – “Eye”
Saint Etienne – Who Do You Think You Are
Jewel – Spirit – “Enter From the East”
Nellie McKay
Mazzy Star
Land of Talk – “Speak To Me Bones”
The Beatles – “She’s Leaving Home”
David Byrne
Arcade Fire – Funeral – “Wake Up”
The Cure – Wish – “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea”
Hank Williams
Gregory Gage
English Beat

Some other things that I love:

Martha Stewart
Empty land
Empty space
The colors of a dragon
Wood floors
Blue skies
Dark nights
Being unsure
Hairy armpits
Fabric (I love fabric and sewing)
Useless underwear
The daydream

Erika Davies Tour Dates:
Aug 8 2009 The Habitat – San Diego, California (8:00pm)
Aug 8 2009 North Park Music Thing – Air Conditioned Lounge – San Diego, California (10:00pm)
Aug 21 2009 Che Cafe (WanderLust Art Show) – La Jolla, California
Aug 25 2009 Tin Can Ale House – San Diego, California
Dec 14 2009 The Moon – Moon City, Wyoming

UPDATE: The Habitat show on Friday has been canceled.

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