California folk rock artist Colby Davidson has seen, experienced, failed and triumphed a lot in his relatively short 23-years of life, and lucky for us, he isn’t afraid when it comes to bearing his soul. His influences are as varied as, well, the spectrum of music itself. When asked to rattle off luminaries he lists as inspiring his own sound, Davidson namechecks everyone from Bob Dylan to Mumford & Sons, John Lennon to John Mayer, Led Zeppelin to Pink Floyd, The Band to Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats.
Davidson’s debut single is the beautiful “Capture the Wind,” which can be described as sonically airy and lilting with vocals reminiscent of John Mayer duetting with Jeff Buckley. When asked how on or off the mark that interpretation is, Davidson affirms, “Yeah, that’s a really good description. I love Jeff Buckley. I think it’s got a more Mumford & Sons vibe, but John Mayer, too.” Davidson was inspired to pen the track during a post-breakup in which he grappled with the seemingly universal push-pull.
“‘Capture The Wind’ was written during a time I was feeling pretty alone,” Davidson explains. “I really wanted to get back with my ex but she wasn’t having it, understandably so because I later realized I wasn’t the best boyfriend to her when we dated. So being alone I romanticized the past heavily. I tried to talk with her, but it wasn’t going anywhere so this was me saying the balls in your court; you send the first message. I think I wanted to say it in a song and have her hear it. I like to do that, to speak to people through my songs. It’s kind of fun and messed up in a way because it’s a one-sided conversation. I learned that from Dylan.”
Born in the Bay area city of Berkeley, Davidson’s family moved to the idyllic sand and surf city of Santa Cruz when he was in fourth grade. “Santa Cruz is basically mountains and forest and then beach,” he explains. “There’s no in-between. We lived in the forest and that influenced my music, too, in the sense of folk.” Meanwhile, family dynamics certainly played a role in his initially turning to songs and songwriting for solace. Davidson is as unflinchingly honest and soul-bearing about the subject as the songs he sings. “There’s a weird dynamic between me and my father,” he confesses. “My father would quiz me on music and showed me so much of it. He really got me into music.” Later, his father entered a deep depression and darkness and for a period left the family. Yet despite the personal tumult, Davidson says the tough times contribute to the music. He and his father have since rebuilt their relationship and are close once again.
“I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for the things my family and I went through.”
In addition to being a burgeoning artist in his own right, Davidson also fronts the rock band Analogue Spirit. With the duel traits of talent and tenacity, perhaps the seemingly out of reach task of capturing the wind isn’t as far-fetched for the dedicated and determined Colby Davidson.