dAVOS · Austrian Synthpop

davos

What is Austrian music famous for? I hope that the first association is not the yodeling. Mozart, the Wiener Walzer and the Neujahrskonzert probably will come to your mind. Considering popular music there was once Opus’ ‘Life is Live’, and, of course, the still legendary Falco.

The Vienna-based synthpop trio dAVOS is the living proof that Austria’s musical innovation did not come to a halt. With a blend of nostalgia and yet something fresh and new they managed to adapt synthpop to the zeitgeist of the 2010’s. They recently released their second studio album I Could Sense a Tragedy. At this occasion let’s take a closer look at their history, their music and the new album.

dAVOS was founded in 2004 by Eric Nelson, Michael Ruin and Gerd Hall. The 80’s synthesizer acts like Duran Duran, A-ha and New Order had a big impact on their sound and exactly the latter is very audible in their music. The lyrics are influenced mainly by autobiographical or personal situations of the band members.

After several EP’s – What I Prefer (2004), I Start Mourning (2006), Cindy (2007) – a 7“ Vinyl – Fruit of Joy (2007) – and their first studio album Just Like Mine (2007) Hall left the band suddenly in 2010 and was replaced by Matt C. Then in 2011, dAVOS 2004–2010 Promo, and the EP Tender Loving Care, were released to great critiques.

I Could Sense a Tragedy

I could sense a tragedyThe second studio album I Could Sense a Tragedy (March 2013) could be considered the album, on which the band formed their own distinctive sound. I liked the new songs already at the first listen. A clever balance between ‘bright’ and ‘dark’ (80’s music fans will know what I am talking about) makes the album even more enjoyable.

Among the brighter songs I recommend ‘Tender Loving Care‘ and ‘Shatter‘, while ‘Past & Cold‘ and ‘Sur la mer‘ bear a certain darkwave-feel. ‘Lass es sein‘ is, in contrary to the other songs, much more driven by an electric guitar, which doesn’t disturb the continuity of the whole album, but makes it even richer; also lyrically, as the refrain is sung in German. My personal favourite is ‘Hidden Place‘ – a song which resembles the mentioned mixture between bright and dark.

Tracklist

01 – Just Like Mine
02 – Tender Loving Care
03 – Lass es sein
04 – Pattern
05 – Shatter
06 – Past and Cold
07 – A Hidden Place
08 – Sur la mer
09 – Disgrace
10 – Thoughtful Eyes
11 – Chimes’ Sad Melody
Bonus Track 12“ – Magnifier

About André Savetier

Since 2011 André Savetier is actively working as a music journalist with an expertise on contemporary new wave music phenomena. His scientific specialization is anthropology of music and anthropology of popular culture. Savetier remains intrigued by the interplay between the aforementioned social phenomena, the told (and untold) legends of music and its roots.

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