The Canadian minimalist channels solitude and reverence on her latest LP.
The slow-motion throbs of Davachi's warm, uncluttered electronic pieces achieve something intensely serene. On her new album, Gave In Rest, the music occupies the peaceful spaces she found lying between religious and secular realms. The LP was inspired by trips to religious buildings Davachi visited while on tour in Europe last summer. The cavernous cold of the cathedrals and lapidariums she sat in comes across on "Auster," which she says is "slowed down and opened up so you can hear the innards of the sound." Breaking down strings, song, piano and organ music to their barest form, the spaces she leaves around the notes were her way of getting over the loneliness she felt during her six months on the road.
"Evensong," "Matins" and "Waking" reflect the quiet moments she forced into her daily routine, "almost like a ritual" as she looked for "ecclesiastic environments" to sit in, saying she was compelled by "the quietude, the air of reverence, the openness of the physical space, the stillness of the altars." There's something chilling, too, about her sombre melodies, often inspired by mourning rites or religious ceremonies designed to manipulate collective emotions, and played on instruments supposed to inspire awe in their congregation.
Gave In Rest uses modern techniques to blur the lines between medieval and Renaissance music. "Evensong" takes faraway choir song to an opaque place, using smudgy reverb over the vocal, as if This Mortal Coil or Julee Cruise records were being played in someone else's dream at the wrong speed. She plays baroque harmonies on "Waking," but rather than finish the record on a climactic note, her Hammond organ takes on a creepy, otherworldly tone and fades out gently. It's as if the music is evaporating into the mist.