Renshaw Davies
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Renshaw Davies

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Duo Pop Dream Pop




"Premiere: Renshaw Davies Returns with The Heat"

Following the cosmic folk on its debut singles released in 2015, New Orleans duo Renshaw Davies returns with The Heat, a six-song EP channeling melancholic pop with its signature haunting harmonies and an expanded sonic palette.

John Renshaw and Emily Davies returned to New Orleans' Bear America Records to record with producer Carson Thielen at the helm. They'll celebrate The Heat's release at 10 p.m. Saturday, June 3 at Gasa Gasa with Coyotes and The Quintessential Octopus. Tickets $10. Listen to the EP below.

The duo first tried to capture their live dynamic, "trying to record ourselves playing what we've done live for years, which is one acoustic guitar and harmony, folk-inspired stuff, trying to capture the simplicity of the songs. It just didn't work," Renshaw says. "Finally, during one session I realized I couldn't play to a click track (metronome) very well, so Carson put a drumbeat over it which was supposed to be temporary, but it sounded great and we went with it."

With The Heat, Renshaw Davies amends its intimate arrangements and close harmonies with lush strings, bubbling synths and shimmering guitars and lap steel, conjuring shadow-casting chamber pop and otherworldly folk.

"As we layered on beats, which we loved, we followed up with some (Roland) Juno (synthesizer), strings, and many other sounds we've been working into our live set," Davies says. "It was the perfect impetus to throw myself into the synth world and polish some rusty key skills. "

"Carson really keyed in on us from the beginning," Renshaw says. "He recognized something we thought we had, but didn't and helped us to reach what we are now, which we hope is pretty cool." - Gambit

"Premiere: Renshaw Davies Say Goodbye To Summertime"

Innocence lost, painful nostalgia and terrible heat — the hallmarks of summer. New Orleans songwriting duo Renshaw Davies (John Renshaw and Emily Davies) kiss off the season with "Summertime," the songwriting duo's first single from their upcoming EP The Heat.

The EP follows the band's dusty folk conjuring Fleetwood Mac and Van Morrison on 2015's 7-inch single “Auctioneer” and “Goin’ Down the Road," loose and carefully arranged acoustic rambles braced with gentle, haunting harmonies.

"Summertime" amends the band's roots with a dry melancholy and creeping synth underneath a singing lap steel. Carson Thielen of The Kid Carsons and Bear America Records recorded the band. "It is a departure from our regular sound that we've been crafting with a lot of help from Carson," Renshaw tells Gambit. "Definitely trying a more 'modern' approach."

Thielen adds synth and electric guitar to the duo's balanced harmonies, with bassist Trey Boudreaux, drummer Eric Rogers and lap steel from Derek Duplessie. - Gambit Weekly

"The 2016 Best of the Beat Music Awards Nominees"

Best Emerging Artist:

Alfred Banks
Motel Radio
Renshaw Davies
Sexy Dex and the Fresh
Soul Brass Band
Stoop Kids - Offbeat

"11 Up And Coming New Orleans Musicians You Want To Know About"

If you dig singer/songwriters, the duo of John Renshaw and Emily Davies should definitely be on your to-see list. This pair stand out for their mournful vocals, elegant acoustic fingerpicking skills, and tastefully light percussion. Plus, the deep writing and spot-on harmonies are really something to witness. - Thrillist

"New Orleans Artists to Watch: Renshaw Davies"

Who: Renshaw Davies

What: the Buckingham/Nicks of new New Orleans Americana

John Renshaw and Emily Davies dropped their bags after a summer tour and went straight into the recording studio — at 3 a.m. For the duo's full-length debut, Renshaw and Davies turned to Bear America Records, the Americana studio and imprint from New Orleans alt-country outfit The Kid Carsons, with Chad Carson producing.

  "He's been really harping on making this album about the two of us, and making the two of us sing more emotionally," Renshaw says. "These are all going to be night sessions. Singing about daytime at 2:30 in the morning. It's not spacey but it's that suspended sort of sound, lost in a time, not really current or past."

  The album follows a 7-inch single the duo released earlier this year, featuring the dusty, Fleetwood Mac-inspired ballads "Going Down the Road" and its haunting, somber counterpart "Auctioneer," buoyed by Davies' harmonies and Renshaw's full-bodied baritone.

  "We're trying to keep it as bare as possible but full," Davies says.

  Renshaw Davies performs Sept. 18 at One Eyed Jacks with Blind Texas Marlin and Palmyra. In October, the band hosts a Monday night residency with a rotating cast of bands and songwriters as a part of Bear America Live at Gasa Gasa.

  On its recent southeast and East Coast tour (powered by Smart Water, cigarettes, Cracker Barrel gift cards and Bubblicious bubble gum), the band "made a lot of money on a couple of shows, not a lot of money on most of them, and got tipped by a NASCAR driver," Renshaw says. "We wound up sleeping in the car that night, the most ironic part of the tour."

  The couple met at an open mic night at Neutral Ground Coffeehouse in 2012. "The moment I laid eyes on her, I saw my future immediately," Renshaw says. "We were both starving to play music wherever we could. ... I was tired of doing sad sack folk singer-songwriter stuff."

  "I don't think I realized what a good fit it would be," says Davies, who moved to New Orleans from Maryland. "There's a lot of music towns, but this is the right music town." - Gambit

"Renshaw Davies Reaches New Heights"

Renshaw Davies Reaches New Heights
May 6, 2015 by: Laura DeFazio

A subtle, folksy duo that specializes in lovely harmonies, Renshaw Davies packs a more powerful punch than the cursory description would imply.

Consisting of John Renshaw (vocals and guitar) and Emily Davies (vocals and light percussion), the couple met at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse when they each moved to town three years ago and began performing together shortly thereafter.

Between writing, practicing, working day jobs, and picking up as many gigs as possible, they’ve been scrambling hard to produce quality music ever since, and all their work is starting to pay off.

They’ve just finished producing a two-track 45 EP (with a digital download included) that contains their compelling original numbers “Auctioneer” and “Goin’ Down the Road”.

OffBeat sat down with them to discuss the 45, their sound and influences, and the struggle to make it as young musicians in New Orleans.

Can you tell me about the recording process?

Emily Davies: We recorded at Bear America Records. It’s run by the Kid Carsons. We’ve enjoyed everything we’ve done with them. They’re just really delightful people.

John Renshaw: We recorded a 45 because we really only had enough resources and time to do two songs. We really didn’t know the amount of effort that producing it would entail, though!

ED: At the time we were a five piece band, and so that’s what you’ll hear on there. Plus the Kid Carsons. With some sweet little tidbits that you won’t hear in the live show.

JR: [The band] broke up a little bit, suddenly, and we’re like, ‘How are we gonna do this? Who’s gonna play bass? Who’s gonna play bass?’ So we asked the band Quintessential Octopus to play for us.

ED: They’re a duo. They play bass and drums.

How would you guys describe your sound? You had some great quotes about a sort of “desert sound” the last time we got together.

ED: We’ve been tossing different things around. New roots, folk. The dusty desert sound… that’s definitely something we draw from.

JR: Someone else actually said that, outside the Hi Ho after we played, that it sounded like I was out in the desert.

ED: I always feel like Stevie Nicks gets described that kind of way. I feel like it keeps coming back to Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham Nicks. Our name, Renshaw Davies, kind of goes along with that.

JR: We live in the opposite of a desert, though. I think the next album, it will have that desert sound, but it’ll have a little bit more moisture on it.

ED: We always want to push ourselves into new territory. We saw Bob Dylan last night…

How was it?

ED: …which was mind-blowing. My mind was reeling.

JR: His band… he had a stand-up bass half the time, he had a pedal steel player, a banjo… So subtle.

ED: I was tellin’ John today, I felt like I saw myself more clearly, I felt like I saw what we do musically more clearly, after watching Dylan.

JR: He had a big white hat on… like, that look. Big white hat.

ED: It’s always hard to put a mirror to yourself and see what you sound like, but I could see some of the sounds he’s going for… similar to what we do.

In which ways?

ED: Some of the instrumentation, I guess, and what he did with it. Like, it has this overlying country feel, with definitely kind of like a folk vibe. But there’s a rock edge to it too. Definitely bluesy. Some jazz in there.

That classic Americana sound…

JR: It is classic Americana. Bob Dylan was like cabaret singer. And the other night, he’s telling people, by just pointing, “You do this, you do this, you slow down…” Didn’t do nothin’ emphatic, you know? But every little thing he did, people were watching and commenting on it, saying, “What is he gonna do next?”

ED: The only words he said were when he took an intermission. He said something like…

JR: “We’ll be back!”

Any songs in particular that he really killed?

ED: “Autumn Leaves”. “Autumn Leaves” and “Duquesne Whistle”.

JR: He played “Autumn Leaves” right before the encore. Like, right before they left the stage. I mean, you could hear a pin drop. In the Saenger Theatre. It was one of those moments.

So, how many of the songs that you guys perform are originals?

JR: In another month, it’ll be about eight. Right now it’s five.

And which covers do you really like to do?

ED: Right now one we really enjoy doing is “Mexico”. It’s off Shovels and Rope’s first album. It was written by Jay Clifford. It’s just this really sweet little low-key song.

JR: “Dreams”.

ED: “Dreams” is one we’ve been doing a lot. Fleetwood Mac seems to be goin’ up like wildfire in this city. We wanted to do “Rumours”. And we still do. I don’t know if it’s gonna happen any time soon…

JR: It may be a project for the summer.

What else is on for the summer?

JR: We plan on doing a lot of writing and recording in the summer. Going to see shows in outlying areas of town. Keeping our income up a little bit. We plan on touring, going up to Maryland, and to New York. But we plan on recording a lot this summer. Hopefully we’ll release our next album this time next year. I don’t see why not.

A full-length one, right? Also vinyl?

ED: Yeah, we’ve had two meetings with Bear America Records to release a full length album, again vinyl. And we’re trying to make this a real intention. For us, it’s go big and elaborate or go home.

JR: It won’t even be that much more expensive.

ED: Yeah, you’re just paying for the fact that it’s vinyl. We wanna keep putting out beautiful pieces of art…

JR: But the novelty has worn off, as far as “We’re making a vinyl record!” Now it’s just….

ED: …make a really sweet record.

You sound like you’re really hustlin’.

JR: We’ve gotta hustle, or these other people will. And in New Orleans, there’s always the option of being like, ‘Hmm, do I wanna go get drunk and listen to music?’ Which is still important, but you can do that every night of the week. You can kind of get away with it, but trying to write songs when you’re coming home at 3 a.m…. And then waking up the next day is a totally different battle!

What brought you each here, originally?

JR: I was born in New Orleans and I moved away when I was three years old. But my family’s been here for generations. I’d always had roots here. I’d really wanted to move to New York. I was already going to LSU, I dropped out of school, and I was like, alright, I’ll go to New Orleans for a little while. And it just sank those claws in…

ED: I moved from Annapolis, Maryland. I was kind of the third generation to get drawn here separately. My great-grandparents came down here, settled down, and then my aunt and uncle came down, so I’d been to visit, and I came down here and studied music.

JR: The Neutral Ground Coffeehouse… is probably our most mainstay. We play there a few times a month. It’s kind of like our home base. First place either of us went to play when we moved here.

ED: That was about three years ago.

Any plans to spend some time elsewhere?

ED: We’ve talked about doing a sublet in Nashville. Eventually.

JR: We’re always between leases, it seems, so we can’t ever figure out at the same point when we’d want to go. Which is how I think it gets you in a way, you’re always living six months at a time. And… you just get twisted in your mind, thinking [New Orleans] is the only place there’s music. Every little corner of this city tells a story. And, all these changes that New Orleans goes through? Like everyone moving to town? New Orleans will win.

Despite the people trying to change it?

JR: If people try to change it, they will be changed. It’s a mecca. It draws people. No matter if you live here or not, you spend some time in New Orleans.

What would be a dream moment for you guys, as musicians?

JR: Selling out a tour all around the country. Going day to day, night to night, and playing for packed crowds. Doing it on your own and just being able to sustain your life by playing music and not having to compromise anything. That’s why I like Alabama Shakes. That’s uncompromising music. It’s pop, but it’s not being sucked into the pop machine.

Check out Renshaw Davies for yourselves. They have several shows booked for the coming months, including a headlining show at Gasa Gasa this Friday, May 8th. They’ll also be playing happy hours at Chickie Wah Wah on the 12th and the 26th. The official EP release is still to be decided, but you can pick it up now through the band or at Euclid. - Offbeat Magazine

"Out now: releases from The Deslondes, Renshaw Davies and more"

Up-and-coming roots duo Renshaw Davies (John Renshaw and Emily Davies) released its debut 7-inch single June 6 on local imprint Bear America with production from label makers and fellow alt-country outfit The Kid Carsons. The duo locks into eerie, Rumours-esque harmonies on the dusty folk ballad "Auctioneer" and on "Going Down That Road," fleshed out with a full band with punchy percussion and a banjo carrying the melody. The band is working on a full-length album on Bear America. - Gambit - Best of New Orleans Blog


Summertime- Single- 2016

7" Vinyl Single: Auctioneer// Goin' Down the Road - 2015



John Renshaw and Emily Davies met at The Neutral Ground Coffeehouse in New

Orleans, where they both regularly performed at the open mic nights. They founded

Renshaw Davies as an acoustic duo and soon established themselves as one of the

preeminent folk acts in the city. While recording with Bear America Records producer,

Carson Thielen, however, they decided to turn in a new direction. Thielen helped

Renshaw Davies achieve a more expansive sonic palette, as they incorporated

synthesizers, drum machines, electric guitar and drums.

Today, Renshaw Davies weave songs together, John on guitar and Emily on synths,

retaining their folk and DIY sensibilities beneath their synth-driven indie pop. They

released their debut EP “The Heat” in 2017. An official music video for “If I Can’t Have

You” is slated for release in June 2018. The duo has toured throughout the United

States and Canada, and you can often catch them playing at favorite venues in New

Orleans, such as Gasa Gasa and One Eyed Jacks.

Band Members