Release Date: October 14th 2014
Reviewed by Joshua Andre
- Rest My Soul
- Be Still
- Carry Me
23 year old singer songwriter Ava Davis, hailing from St Louis, Missouri, has released her debut EP Journey, which in my opinion is a breath of fresh air for the CCM/adult contemporary music industry. With a vocal similar to Brooke Fraser and Lindsay McCauol, Ava’s stellar and captivating vocals and poignant lyrics, are sure to positively impact all who listen. With the album written out of a place or personal worship to God, the album reminds us of trusting in God through a season of uncertainty and waiting for clarity. With Ava having toured with the Trans Siberian Orchestra, her immense heart for God and the Holy Spirit anointing on these simple yet moving tracks, has me yearning for more songs after hearing these 5 tracks. I definitely am eagerly anticipating Ava’s full length album- this EP is a must buy for uplifting and encouraging music pointing to our Saviour!
Opening the track list is “Rest My Soul”, a piano led ballad, which has the potential to be radio single material. A music video was also filmed as well. Led by soft keys, Ava’s powerful voice emphatically outlines that Jesus is sovereign and that He is worthy of praise. With the theme of the track being that God is with us at all times, and that He is to be trusted because of his verifiable promises, it is the chorus that impacts me the most, as Ava reminds us that ‘…when I feel you I know that you are there, and when I hear you I know that you are here. But I will trust you when my vision has gone blind, for I am downing in a love that won’t run dry…’. As Ava sings with her whole heart the epic crescendo, near the bridge, is another highlight in the track, as Ava brilliantly sings the album opener, and gives us an anthem to sing to our God whenever we think he is far.
The rest of the tracks showcase Ava’s captivating voice, as we are met with a moving and inspiring collection of ballads and worship songs! “Be Still” is led by the piano, and immediately reminds us through calm and reflective vocals and instruments, to be still in the presence of God, and dwell upon His unending love for us, and the mind-boggling fact that Jesus laid His life down for us when we didn’t deserve it. Another acoustic track (until the end of the 2nd chorus, then the full band is introduced!), Ava’s ethereal and mysterious vocals accentuate and complement the lyrics and theme of the track quite nicely. As Ava ardently and fervently cries out and sings the remainder of the tracks, it’s clear that Ava will be a star, and that her fan base will exponentially grow- it’s just a matter of time!
“Soar” is another well-constructed and beautifully played piano led ballad, with Ava’s strong vocals carrying the song, as well as the stirring electric guitar and acoustic guitar in the background. As Ava worships God and declares that ‘…You’re the song of my heart, You’re the song of my freedom, You’ve captured my heart, now I am Yours, my spirit will soar, cause I’m captured by the river of Your love…’, there’s a sense of vulnerability and honesty that I admire greatly, as Ava fervently and ardently communes with our Saviour and father, inviting us to do the same. While the title track is a simple yet effective acoustic inspired melody driven by guitar and light percussion. It is in this track where Ava creates a heartfelt and poignant melody and passionately lays everything down to God, as she unequivocally and unashamedly shouts out to the world the truth that ‘…You are my God, You are my King, surrendered I come and lay at Your feet, oh here’s my heart placed in your hands, Lord fill my cup with unending love…’.
The final song is “Carry Me” (no, not the Josh Wilson song!). Personally it’s a wonderful way to end the album, with Ava exquisitely highlighting her dynamic, refreshing and explosive vocals, in this rock worship anthem about Jesus carrying us in every circumstance and situation where we need him. A nice change from the ballads we have heard earlier, this change in genre is a great way for Ava to show her diversity musically, and it’s a great way to encourage us to dance and praise God as well! Thematically this song is about laying everything over to God, and this honest prayer to God is something I pray that everyone can say to God whenever they need to!
As an EP, Journey by Ava Davis hits all of the right notes, and is very enjoyable to listen to. This young woman of God has definitely a bright future ahead of her in the CCM industry, and I think someone should sign her to a label quick! With ballads, rock songs and radio friendly melodies, this EP is one to be savoured, and one I would encourage listeners to hear, if they are fans of worship artists like Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman, or female vocalists like Lindsay McCaul and Joanna Beasley! Well done Ava for creating a unique and well thought out EP! I can’t wait to hear more albums from you!
3 songs to listen to: Rest My Soul, Be Still, Carry Me
RIYL: Lindsay McCaul, Plumb, Brooke Fraser, Joanna Beasley, Charmaine