Photo by Hannah Edelman
Elise Davis is recognized in Nashville songwriting circles for her ability to capture serrated emotions. She’s raised the bar even higher with her sophomore album Cactus, teasing out the tensions between youthful infatuation and grown-up confessions of dissatisfaction and desire in songs whose arrangements range from acoustic spareness to sumptuous orchestration. Together, Cactus paints the picture of a modern woman in the modern world. It’s an album about what it takes to stand alone, rooted in the hard-won wisdom of a songwriter who’s unafraid to shine a light on her missteps and victories.
Her work in music began in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she started writing songs at 12 years old. By college, she was booking her own tours and gigging regionally across the state. It was her relocation to Nashville that kickstarted the busiest phase of her career, though, with Davis landing a publishing deal during her first two years in town. When it came time to record Cactus, Davis remained in Tennessee, tapping producer Jordan Lehning to helm her most personal work to date. The two worked together for six months, holed up in Lehning’s home studio paying tribute to Davis’ adopted hometown, too, layering songs with pedal steel, acoustic guitar, keyboards, strings and vocal harmonies. Davis’ melodies remained at the forefront of every mix, her voice honest and unflinching.
Host: Jay Trachtenberg
Producer: Deidre Gott
Broadcast Engineer: Cliff Hargrove
Cameras: Julia Reihs, Hannah Edelman
Video Edit: Julia Reihs