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Finding refuge in music: Emily Davis celebrates diverse background and influences

El Paso’s Emily Davis and The Murder Police will perform July 23 at Launchpad and July 24 at Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery in Santa Fe. (Courtesy of Emily Davis and The Murder Police)

Early on Emily Davis turned to music as a refuge.

“It’s kind of the thing that just keeps me going,” Davis said. “I know that might sound like, really general. But, I mean, you know, when I was young, if I was going through any kind of hardship, I think music was the thing that I defaulted to, to get me through it. And then, into adulthood, that was just something that continued, you know, it’s something that’s been able to, it’s kind of like a survival thing for me now. It’s the thing that keeps me going.”

Through the years Davis has gone from solo act to a member of the popular dream pop band Cigarettes After Sex, to forming her own band, Emily Davis and The Murder Police.

“I was solo for many years,” Davis said. “I started in high school playing shows by myself, stopped for a bit, and then, around the time I was 19 and ever since then, I really haven’t stopped, and I released three solo albums within the span of five years. That was just my focus was performing. And, you know, normally by myself, in that time, I was basically with Cigarettes After Sex. But I wasn’t really playing my music.”

About five years ago, Davis formed Emily Davis and The Murder Police.

“Truth be told, I was really hesitant to do it,” Davis said. “I’d been in, you know, a band. I’ve been in a couple of bands, and I enjoyed it. But I just felt more comfortable doing things on my own. But after I released my third album, it was dynamic enough that I felt like it would be more interesting to hear, you know, the album version wasn’t just me by myself, there was bass, there was electric and acoustic, there was drums. So, you know, the idea was to maybe have a more dynamic sound live.”

Working with others has its perks.

“I think there’s something to be said about being creatively inspired when you’re working with other people,” Davis said. “I think it’s easy for songwriters to reach their own limits if they’re not collaborating with people. And that’s not to say that I wouldn’t be able to write songs still, but I just wanted to be able to explore something else. I think performing with other people and collaborating with them can make you a better songwriter. And I think that’s something that I was just ready to do. I was ready to be pushed by other people. And so, it felt like the right time to do that.”

The band’s sound is a mesh of music influences from each of the members’ backgrounds.

“The two halves of music that have really influenced me I would say are like either Southern rock or folk rock and then punk rock,” Davis said. “I think you can hear all of that kind of mixed into what we do. There’s definitely you know, when I was younger, I was raised on Cat Stevens and Dan Fogelberg and Don McLean. I was also raised on Southern rock, so the Doobie Brothers, Creedence Clearwater Revival, ZZ Top. And then into high school and adulthood, I became a fan of punk rock music. So, Bad Religion, NOFX, Against Me! And so I know all those sound very different, but I think that there’s aspects of all of that. We have a southern sound. We have a folk sound, but it’s abrasive in the way that punk rock music is.”

Davis’ bandmates’ music influences contribute to the band’s sound.

“Our backgrounds are kind of made evident in what we contribute,” Davis said. “You know, Jorge (Torres), our guitarist, loves punk rock music, but he also loves ’70s rock. Our drummer Tom (Tinajero) loves ’70s rock. (Bassist) Jose (Macias) he’s got a metal background, but he has a very large palate when it comes to music. So he brings that, he brings his own edge to it. They’re very versatile when it comes to his influences. I think we just over the past several years, we just found ourselves, you know, honing in on an alternative ’90s, punk, folk rock, Southern rock sound. But it wasn’t like premeditated. It’s just what we ended up sounding like when you threw us all together in a room.”

The band’s latest album, “Never A Moment Alone,” contains songs set in the present day and the feelings surrounding that. It is available for purchase on the band’s website, as well as Bandcamp, iTunes and Amazon.

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