Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer Mitch Davis steps out on his own with debut LP The Haunt, a singer-songwriter tour de force for which he wrote all the songs and played all the instruments, made in his home studio during the 2020 lockdown, with much of it recorded on equipment that he also built himself.
Davis is a mainstay of the vibrant Montréal music scene, with a musical background encompassing everything from rock bands (Faith Healer) to avant-garde (Elle Barbara's Black Space) to jazz and hip-hop (Cadence Weapon). The Haunt is a synthesis of his many musical interests, stretching back to his childhood when he played drums in the church band and saxophone in his school band (he plays both on The Haunt.) Though he’s never had any formal musical training, Davis can’t remember a time in which music wasn’t a part of his life. When it came time to make his own record, Davis says: “I was always hoping I could find a way to blend everything together and get away with doing a bunch of different genres all at once, because I don’t like dwelling on a certain sound.”
Despite so much going on behind the scenes, nothing about The Haunt sounds overworked. A breezy, upbeat listen, it’s very much in tune with the spirit of 70s pop that Davis loves for the way it strikes a balance between musicality and catchiness, complexity and brevity. These are composed, layered songs made with care, but also made to make you smile. The result is a uniquely personal statement brimming with color and optimism even as it ponders universal themes of introspection and loneliness—a record that could only have been made by Mitch Davis.