Barbarians cover



By the time of his third solo album, Richard Davies was settled in the USA, and its surface calm suggests newfound, pacific wisdom. As such, Barbarians can slip by you if you’re not paying careful attention. But it features some of Davies’s most gorgeously straightforward songs: opener “Coldest Day” is a sly, slow-burning meditation; “Stars” a sweet, psychedelic gem; “May” is perhaps his most confident, lush song yet, its melancholy marked with ‘jangling trees’ and ‘silvery light’. The unassuming poetry of the lyrics are more direct, but Davies’s eye-catching surrealism always bustles just under the surface.

Jon Dale