Kent musicians got game

Neville Hardman

Tucked in the corner of a house on East Craine Ave., four artists performed Friday, Oct. 3.

One of the singer-songwriters was Julia Kate Davis, a self-taught musician and senior at Kent State.

Prior to her 25 minute set, Davis had completed a round-style show at Scribbles Coffee Co. with Emma Shepard and Lexi Weege.

Her main genre is indie-folk, but Davis brought with her a combination of different aspects that were placed copiously in her performance. Her acoustic was joined with spunky, Lana Del Ray-esque lyrics and powerhouse vocals, which made her set was musically pleasing to see.

Davis supplied the audience with character, glowing brighter than the Christmas lights strung along the walls behind her as she begun her set of original and cover songs.

She covered two songs acoustically, including Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness,” a simple version of the high-energy party song and Drake’s “Best I Ever Had.”

The rest of her original songs delved into a plethora of influence, drawing inspiration from her background and music past. Davis used to be in a short-lived bluegrass band and attended school in Mexico before moving to Kent. She began playing music when she was 16, but only started performing three-and-a-half years ago.

Her song “Kent, Ohio” is based around the town of Kent itself, not the university and during the piece she started to play melody from a kazoo attached to her necklace.

Davis said that she believes that Kent has a lot more to offer other than hosting a college campus because of the locals and unique shops poking out around downtown.

“(Kent) has a weird counter-culture, it’s got a lot of cool townies, it’s worth getting off-campus,” she said.

Another original song “At Sea” takes impact from her brief time spent in “Julia and the Pathos Valley Boys,” a bluegrass band, which gave insight to her musical involvement and a diverse feel to her performance.

Davis said that she doesn’t want her performance to be monotonous, so she uses different elements during her songs to spark audience attention, such as using the kazoo. 

Another way she did this was by putting down her guitar at the beginning of her original “Red, white and blue” and keeping up a beat purely through clap until the song was over.

“Guitar can get a little boring, so I try to mix it up and breathe life. It’s so personal, it’s like my diary. I do it for me,” Davis said.

There’s something empowering about seeing a college kid who is able to melt into her music and find time to do back-to-back shows despite the stress of being in her final year. Props to Julia Kate Davis and other Kent musicians who keep on their daily music making grind.

Julia Kate Davis currently has four albums out, which are available for purchase on her website.