Posted by: Bill Jones | June 27, 2008

Britain’s David Ford Brings His Sound to Los Angeles

You’re sitting in your car driving somewhere or listening to your ipod walking through the streets of a familiar, or unfamiliar, place listening to a song, or a set of songs, and you feel like you’re in a movie; or you should be.

This imprompto soundtrack is spot on. The music, the lyrics, the cadence of the artists voice, the rhythm of the guitars, the snap of the snare, all of it puts you in the moment and you’re lost; to the music.

And that’s just the first track.

On his sophomore album, David Ford takes his diary, empties it out, and tries to convey to the listener the turmoil of his new-found self-awareness and wanting for things that may have been, up until now, unattainable. He swimmingly croons through a sea of relationship-laden tracks as if David Gray was sitting on a lifeguard tower ready to jump in and save him with some of his own British electro-pop styled mouth-to-mouth. Mr. Gray better put on some more SPF30, because he’s gonna be there a while.

We here at eargoggles have just secured a copy of his latest album Songs For the Road out on Original Signal Recordings earlier this April, digitally in February. Great to listen to in the car; probably the reason for the title. Upon first listen it is quite impressive; hit well with the current weather change in Southern California (a little relief from the low-100s with a balmy mid-70s day). It has, as mentioned before–and we hate to equate artists to other artists, a David Gray feel, with maybe some of Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst in here–Mason Jennings, perhaps–wait! no!! Jason Anderson. You know, good sweater music–good for a brisk walk or an Autumn read on the porch sippin’ on some coffee or tea–with some Bailey’s or whiskey.

The album was released last fall in the UK where it received rave reviews from The Sunday Times (Best of 2007: “…a devastating reminder that an artist witha keening voice, an ear for melody and a willingness, lyrically, to wrestle withdemons can still take the breathaway.”), The Guardian (“…[Ford] has a real and thrilling edge.”), and The Sun (“This is a sublime 37 minutes of music. It’s melodic songwriting on par with Damien Rice, folk singing reminiscent of The Pogues and lyric writing as good as Bright Eyes.”). Wow! So we were spot on with the Bright Eyes compairison.

He’s got all the tools for a succesful commercial jump to America. He’s got the voice, the gimicky sound, and a signature look; he wears a fedora/bowler-like hat (see above and in the videos).

That was at first listen.

Now, when you watch him it’s a totalydifferent story. Looping live noises, strums of a guitar, drum beats, as well as harmonizing with multi-tracked recordings looped of himself on top of live vocals performed live is where it gets very interesting. While we here at eargoggles are huge fans of Andrew Bird, who also uses live instumentation and live recorded loops behind his very distinct voice, David Ford seems to have thrown at least 3/4 of the staff here for a loop. Watch some video below:

“Go to Hell!”

and here with “State of the Union”

Now see, that’s pretty amazing! a nice change of pace, a little Nevertheless, David Ford will be playing in Los Angeles at the Hotel Cafe on July 10th. Definitely something to check-out if your in the area. We’ll be there, well some of us, looking for a good time and some cool looking hats.

Live show review to come!


  1. David Ford is one of the most talented singer/songwriters out there right now. Motorola is actually giving away the “To Hell with the World” ringtone for free in The Hotel Cafe section on the Motorola site. Enjoy!

  2. Great music videos! I work with Motorola, and with phones out like the Krave it’s easy to download music from unknown artists such as this, because of it’s cool flip phone design! Check it out…


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