Loud and brash may buy easy headlines and fleeting fame, but in the music world a more subtle approach often leads to winning dedicated fans and lifelong followers.
This is definitely the case for David J. Roch, whose delicate melodies and melancholy words can paint an introspective picture in the way of a Simon and Garfunkel classic, yet sometimes explode into a finale that is a cathartic, life-affirming emotional release. David’s handling of subject matters encompassing loss, love, religion, death and relationships sets him apart from most other current singer-songwriters, possibly informed by his previous career as an undertaker.
The release of David’s new album ‘A Cynic, A Realist, An Undertaker’ is likely to have the same effect on many new listeners as he had on The Independent on Sunday recently: “There are times when the only response to raw talent is to drop your jaw and go ‘Wow!”
David’s music is far from having a narrow niche appeal, as viewers of TV shows ranging from ‘Private Practice’, ‘Being Human’ and even ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ will already know. Each of these massively popular programmes have featured songs from 2012 debut album ‘Skin and Bones’ and led to an explosion of interest.
Produced in part by Jim Sclavunos, a man used to working with dark and powerful themes in Grinderman and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, with additional production by David’s long term collaborator Dave Sanderson,
the new album fully realizes David’s songwriting and revels in the unexpected, utilizing not just his backing band of multi-instrumentalists, but also a male voice choir on the forbidding ‘Hell To Pay’.
He explains his own rationale when he says: “The songs I write are chapters from my life put to music to allow me to make sense of what I have done and what I will do.”
Whether on record or playing live, David effortlessly conveys emotional intensity using a voice which The Guardian says “can soar to ethereal heights as effortlessly as it plumbs red-raw depths” and in doing so he finds the perfect vehicle to expresses his deeply moving lyrics and stunning melodies.
With his second set of North American dates and support slots for Grinderman. Andy Burrows, Ethan Johns and Josh T Pearson, already under his belt, an upcoming tour of the UK later in the summer will feature a mix of solo dates and full-band sets.