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As if we couldn’t highlight the intricate beauty of his latest single “Solar Pilgrim” enough, we are all about Twain’s upcoming full-length release in its entirety. Out today, October 20th, via Keeled Scales, Rare Feeling is actually how we categorize the atmosphere felt while enjoying the album, as it draws us into simplicity and dissonance with each track. And perhaps that is what Mt Davidson is reaching for in his work, as he recently admitted “music hurts me so often, from wanting to feel it, from loving it. And from knowing how much I owe it.” Somehow, he has created a landscape with which we ourselves can feel the highs and lows and the ways music has touched his soul over the course of his life, all packed into nine incredibly well-written, soulful, and beautifully composed tracks.
From the very first crawling, melancholic chords of “Solar Pilgrim”, your eardrums are ensnared with Twain’s vocal abilities. Meandering into “The Sorcerer”, we are launched into the theory of time’s irrelevancy and the massive scope of the universe lyrically. The tempo picks up slightly for third track “Little Dog Mind”, and we are exposed to Twain’s incomprehensible ability to bend octave-jumping to his will. “Hank & Georgia” allows a pause for contemplation, as he urges us to “learn to love the part of yourself you’ve hated for so long” and, in turn, pushing us into a space of self-love and care.
“Freed from Doubt” experiences quite the instrumental progression before Twain ever utters a line. The song is more of a steam of consciousness recollection of simplistic memories, though he does point out that life’s journey is about how you frame your mindset. It is at this point that we realize perhaps the nature of Rare Feeling is to assess our life’s priorities and to simplify our own narratives. And we certainly get that feeling from “Rare Feeling pt. 2”, though the waling electric guitar hits us harder than its predecessors. It is, perhaps, a rock ballad in composition, and we’re smitten with the 70s psychedelic vibe we get from it, just by sitting back and allowing it to move our bones.
Instrumentally, seventh track “Black Chair” is on the other side of the spectrum, a light and airy acoustic marvel. “Dear Mexico (Thank You for Joyce)” might hold the award for most specific song title, though the lyrics are some of the most vague as he largely utilizes the term “I think” and only begins outlining particular events in the last third of the song or so, rendering it highly relatable. He rounds out the album with a track titled “Good Old Friend”, an optimistic track with ethereal vocals that dance along pointed guitar chords beginning around 46 seconds in. He sings in absolutes, “never going down,” and he’s so sure that we’re not entirely sure we wouldn’t like to be his “Good Old Friend”.