Melbourne’s Billy Davis has been working hard over the last few years. He’s shared the stage with Anderson Paak, NoName, and Blackalicious, collaborated with Goldlink and Brockhampton, and even performed alongside Goldlink in his NPR Tiny Desk performance. His band The Good Lords is constantly evolving and expanding too, with up to 11 members on stage at any given time.
Billy’s new single ‘Headspace’ is all about finding the time to look after yourself, even if life is busy, stressful, and full of pressures. “My head had pretty much reached a point of explosion. The pressures of the many things I do had reached a breaking point. During this time away I wrote ‘Headspace’, a song exactly about the importance of having some time to yourself, some time to disconnect and recharge away from the pressures of people, social media, and the rest of it.”
Ahead of the track’s release, we caught up with Billy, who curated a playlist that further explores the themes of his new song. Here’s what he had to say about each selection:
FINNEAS – ‘Break My Heart Again’
I remember the first time I heard this song I got a bit teary and emotional. It might not necessarily reflect exactly what ‘Headspace’ is about thematically but the important thing about this song is that it’s raw and coming from a real place. The reason why ‘Headspace’ gets me straight in the feels is because it’s coming from a real place, I was legit on the edge of a breakdown and needed time. Songs that are honest and real are important.
Billie Eilish – ‘I Love You’
Again, it comes back to realness. I think a lot of people resonate with Billie and her brother Finneas’ stuff because it’s true and honest. I love the droning acoustic sound at the start of Billie’s vocals and her layering with Finneas.
Bren Joy – ‘Drag Race’
I remember hearing this song after I heard the final master to ‘Headspace’, right before I boarded a flight to Philippines. I remember tearing up while waiting to board because of Bren’s voice. I really respect artists that sing honest and talk about real things. The depth to this song and the topics he talks about are so strong and powerful on top of his chords and vocals it’s just a ‘real song’ like ‘Headspace’.
LANY – ‘Malibu Nights’
I really resonate with this song. It’s special to have a song that describes almost word-for-word what you’re going through. It’s not overly complicated melodically or harmonically either, just enough to get the story across.
Joji – ‘Slow Dancing in the Dark’
Sometimes you stumble across songs that you think are sweet at first, but later realise there’s more depth to them than you thought. This is one of those songs—the type of songs I wanna write.
Daniel Caesar – ‘Streetcar’
I always find it bizarre and beautiful when a song sounds beautiful harmonically, but a deeper listen to the lyrics can make you realise that your friend needs help and just wants some good people around them giving love. I think it’s important to not just take things at face value but pay attention and listen. [I] love this song.
Check out Billy Davis’s playlist above and listen to his new single ‘Headspace’ here.