Davis bares her ‘Soul’6/8/2016
Rae Davis can be seen throughout the city as a part of a number of projects — fronting Rae & the Honeybees; supplying vocals for R&B powerhouse The Tighten Up; and bouncing between a number of instruments in her cover band, Cover Grrls. But for 2016, Davis has broken new ground and released her first-ever solo effort, an EP titled “Soul & Skin.”
Davis has written plenty of music with her Honeybees partner Jenny Kohls, but making the mental and emotional adjustment from writing for a duo to writing solo material was an adjustment for her.
“I think that it’s actually slightly evident by the style of songs that are on the EP,” Davis said. “While the Honeybees have kind of an eclectic sound — Jenny and my styles are different, but complementary — this album is much more reflective of my personal experience. There’s a jazz song, a pop song, a rock song; that’s how I am as an individual artist.
“The focus isn’t necessarily about harmonies throughout the song or making room for guitar solos for Jenny. Instead, it’s more about me and the story I’m telling.”
While Davis and Kohls had written plenty of songs on their own in the past, the songs that were eventually brought into the Honeybees took on a different life. When the pair take the stage together, it is not as if they are playing some of Kohls’ songs, followed by a couple of Davis’. Instead, those songs have become communal property. So for Davis, “Soul & Skin” became a way of staking out her own patch of artistic real estate.
“Those songs that Jenny and I individually brought to the Honeybees are very much Honeybees songs now,” she concurred. “My song, ‘Over Again,’ would not be the same without Jenny and I doing it together.
“It’s like new love,” she continued, describing the feeling of playing the freshly minted material live. “You’re obsessed, and you think about them all the time. My newest songs, I really, really like. There’s a freshness and newness. If anyone has been to a show that I’ve played since 2007, you know you’re going to hear a gospel song about sex (‘Hallelujah’). But not everyone knows ‘Fair Weather Friend.’ So doing things as a solo artist is very exciting and new for me.” CV