Jupiter Davis (a.k.a. Lancen Harms) is kicking off his music career with Dark Souls – an album that was seven years in the making, or more precisely, “a 7 year saga of love, loss, sadness, madness, and redemption.”
And while it’s unclear if Harms’ seven tracks are a deliberate homage to the time it took to create the album, there’s no doubt that each song is packed with exactly that as Harms croons and growls over Ryley Epp’s masterful accompaniment.
“gmg” opens the album full of love. Harms’ Dan Mangan-like voice chirping “Good morning gorgeous” before whistling contentedly over the bridge. Even follower “Softy” keeps that buoyant beat as Harms bundles up for yet another dreary day and finishes, “Keep up your chin, big softy/ You’re crying again.”
The irrepressible optimism in Harms’ voice finally gives way to “Butterflies & Bergamot,” a growling, building track that spirals out of control in the instrumentation as the ability to keep that chin up slips just out of grasp. Loss seeps deeper into the album as it progresses, steadily creeping in through the smallest, simple cracks.
The six-minute “Peaches” grapples with the impact as it quietly moves towards healing —one of the album’s most subdued tracks that gently eases back into the album’s opening, carefree feeling. As it speeds up into the final minutes, closer “Mt. Enchanted (omg)” captures that bruised, hesitant return to yourself.
It’s not quite full circle, but Dark Souls is all the richer for ending at the moment when it all starts to come back, carrying a new past with it. As Harms finishes out the album crying out “Oh my god,” it’s a cathartic close for a seven year—and seven song—journey.
Top Track: “Softy”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)