Daveit Ferris is a musician, poet and producer who hails from Derry, Northern Ireland. His current project, 365 Sparks—all of which he recorded entirely solo in 2014—will see the release of one song per day for the entire year of 2015, starting on January 1st.
Ferris describes the catalyst for 365 Sparks as coming from “a very near death situation toward the end of 2013 that left me in hospital for a week”. Ferris said that his time in the hospital bed inspired him to conceive all aspects of the project “from the basic premise, scheduling, recording process, logo, artwork, website design, etc”.
As a preview of the project, Ferris has released an EP of five “upbeat rock songs” called “A Taste of 365 Sparks”. In addition to giving listeners a sample of the project as a whole, Ferris designed this EP to work as a standalone release both in terms of sound and theme.
“A Taste of 365 Sparks” is a cohesive set that shows Ferris is equally adept in creating hard-rock bite as he is with purveying smooth pop hooks. His voice is open, vulnerable, and torn while showing impressive range from a screaming howl to a sarcastic sneer.
To emphasize the thematic relationships between the songs, which all center around the struggle to become and to stay sober, Ferris connected keywords to each of the five songs as a way to trace the journey from the darkest moments to a bright future.
The EP begins with “This is Your Captain Speaking”,—keyword “disaster”—a crunching hard-rock song with a vicious opening hook. Ferris’ voice here has a powerful screamo edge to it, which adds a potent bite to his lyrics about the immediate aftermath of a disaster:
We reach the island
we reach our friends
we say our goodbyes
we’re soaked and starving
but we’re alive
we’re all departing
“Blood Generator”—keyword “disconnection”—mixes catchy power-pop with lacerating honesty and self-doubt.
my vital organ
I’ve missed you terribly since our last visit
and I wonder if you’ve even noticed
your beats don’t have an echo
my beating chest-brain
The next track, “Top of My Lungs,”—keyword “regret”—is a near-perfect pop-rock song that combines propulsive guitar and sweet harmony vocals. “Top of My Lungs” folds bitter end-of-relationship recrimination, “don’t forget who you are with me gone and not keeping you grounded/ps: all our memories died last night with some vodka” into a winning amalgam of 80s pop and 90/00s rock bite.
Ferris is at his most open and honest in “On the Wagon”—keyword “abstinence”. The song is a defiant statement of purpose and an examination of the constant vigilance required to stay sober. Ferris observes how powerful the addiction is, “they say I am a control freak/ but alcohol wins that battle/so i’ll concede and leave the battlefield”, while at the same time asserting control over his situation by saying, “my vitriol and me have lost touch/I realise I was drinking too much/now I must stop”.
“On the Wagon” is a bright, stomping anthem full of assertive power chords. The bridge and chorus effectively shift from major to minor textures and Ferris again displays the range and power of his voice with effortless harmonies and guttural yowls.
The final track of the EP, “All I Wanted”—keyword “hope”—has a pure power ballad feel to it in the best way. Ferris sings gently over a simple electric guitar pattern before the song crescendos from a provocative bridge into the dramatic chorus. “All I Wanted” with a sense of a journey ended and just beginning, is the perfect ending to this set.
“A Taste of 365 Sparks” should whet your appetite for the project that is to follow. I definitely look forward to hearing what Ferris will have to offer in 2015!
Daveit Ferris’ official website.
Stream and/or download “A Taste of 365 Sparks.”
Website for Madlen Tittmann, co-art designer for the 365 Sparks project.
Sparks 365 Website.