Anything but classical, Mikaela Davis will play the harp at Black Cat

Missing the relaxation of winter break now that classes are starting up again? Mikaela Davis’s light, poppy folk is the perfect fit for those of you who are feeling nostalgic for the peaceful days of vacation, although the singer-songwriter and harpist is using her own winter break to tour and promote her new EP.

Davis began her musical career in the second grade, and she soon began studying the harp at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, according to the Washington Post. Now she’s in her last semester as a harp performance major at SUNY Postdam in upstate New York, and has so far released one full-length album and an EP, which dropped on iTunes this week.

Although Davis was initially skeptical that she would be able to pursue folk rock as a genre while continuing with the harp, she and bandmates Alex Coté and Cian McCarthy manage to blend the harp into an eclectic mix of instruments that’s anything but classical.

Davis’ sound is pretty and soft. Her first album incorporates the harp more pointedly, with bright solos that catch listeners’ attention and keep it. Songs like “Something Better” and “Where Will We Go” exemplify the peppier, more organic feel of her debut album. Her new EP, Fortune Teller, moves in a different direction. Although the harp still features prominently, synthesizers come into the picture and the star of the show is Davis’ high, husky voice. Fortune Teller is melancholy and nostalgic even when the beat picks up, like in “Feels like Forever.”

This kind of gentle, poppy folk rock hits just the right note for anyone missing long mornings in bed and taking it easy. While the show most definitely will not feature thumping beats and wild dancing, it promises captivating music and a chance to listen and unwind. Davis will perform at Black Cat on Sunday, January 12, at 8:00 p.m. with Ula Ruth. Tickets are $10 and available here.

Photo: Amanda.Stockwell via Flickr

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