Making Noise – Bart Davenport

Bart Davenport might be a multitude of things, depending on whom you ask. He’s been a mod, a blues singer and a soft-rock troubadour. He’s an eccentric guitarist and singer with the timeless voice of a real crooner. He lives and writes songs in Los Angeles. His work transports us to an imagined past or future that is curiously both the 80s and the 60s. Like most speculative fiction, Davenport’s stories might just be a reflection of now, taking place in a fantasy world but conveying personal and universal truths. He performs and records with his band The Bedazzled, featuring bassist Jessica Espeleta, guitarist Wayne Faler (Dream Boys) and drummer Andres Renteria. The group recently spent 11 days at a studio in Boyle Heights with producer, Aaron M. Olson (L.A. Takedown) recording Blue Motel. The album is slated for release on vinyl, digital and CD on April 27, 2018, on Lovemonk, Légère Recordings, and Burger Tapes.

Bart & The Bedazzled recently released “The House That Built Itself”, the first track and video to come off the upcoming album Blue Motel which you can stream below.

A native of Oakland, California, Bart Davenport’s roots are in the 90s garage and blues scenes. His first band, The Loved Ones performed a rawkus style of r&b, opening for the likes of Junior Wells and John Lee Hooker. In the 00s Davenport went solo and turned the volume down but not the intensity. Whitest Boy Alive and Kings of Convenience singer, Erlend Øye, has called him the best one-guy-and-guitar performer there is. It made pragmatic sense to tour solo but Davenport’s heart was always in ensemble band arrangements and his recordings often reflect his affection for collaboration.

Davenport relocated to Los Angeles where he gathered together the band that would eventually record Physical World, released on Lovemonk and Burger Records in March 2014 to some critical acclaim. Indeed, Pitchfork described it as “sophisticated and cheap-sounding at once, it’s likable within five seconds of hitting your ears.” In 2017 Bart & The Bedazzled recorded a follow up album titled, Blue Motel produced by Aaron M. Olson whose signature sounds give the new album a darker, cinematic atmosphere.

Alluding to Los Angeles with the lights down, Blue Motel is an amalgam sound of ’80s English pop and West Coast yacht rock jams, sprinkled with cinematic flourishes clearly influenced by the understated production of Aaron M. Olson. The jangly pop aesthetic, resplendent with choppy chorus tinted guitar, snappy snares, sax and bass is underlined with life trodden stories about day jobs, dating, financial insecurities, lost innocence and most prominently, time travel.

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Photo credit: Carlie Kinnear

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