Updated: Apr 21
Based out of Nashville, davvn is a dynamic duo who describes themselves as “imperfect pop”. I had the pleasure of asking them about what their sound entails, how they go about their creative process, and what life is like in their local scene.
Who is everyone in the group?
[Mike]: I’m Mike, I mostly do the production and instrumentals in the band.
[McCall]: I’m McCall, I do more of the songwriting/creative side, and I’m the main singer as well. But we kind of try to cross sides occasionally. I’ll try and do some of the production myself, and he’ll come in for some of the songwriting sessions. We really try to be cohesive, but we definitely have areas that we’re more specialized in, so it works really well.
When and how did you get started?
[Mike]: When we first met, it was our senior year of college in Boston. We kind of bonded over our love for old school pop-punk music. We started making music four or five years ago now. For me personally, it was kind of a reboot after taking a bit of a hiatus. I had been in another band back in high school. Writing with McCall was my first foray back into songwriting after taking a break, and it just came very naturally.
[McCall]: I had always written by myself, very singer-songwriter style. Just me, an acoustic guitar, and Logic, just messing around and doing my own thing. I had always wanted to join a band, but there wasn’t really ever a good time in high school or college. Then finally when Mike and I met, it was nice to see somebody else who was super interested in music. We also both have a background in computer science, that’s what we studied in college. So both of those areas just mashed up really well, so that when we did start writing together, we just had such similar goals and interests, and it felt great.
Where does your group get your name from?
[McCall]: So at the time that electronic music was at its peak, there were a lot of bands that were using Vs and Ws in place of As in band names and song titles, and we thought that was really cool and something that we would want to do.
[Mike]: At the time, we were big fans of Pvris and artists like that, and we really liked that concept. And then McCall had really liked the idea and imagery of dawn and the sun rising, which really went with our ambient and ethereal kind of vibe, especially with the stuff we were writing when we got started.
[McCall]: Dawn also really went with the idea of “imperfect pop”, with that bittersweet feeling of the night ending, but a new day beginning, and that really felt in line with the kind of music I wanted to write. That silver lining on something that’s hard to stomach sometimes. So davvn felt really emblematic of that.
You describe yourselves as “imperfect pop”. How would you personally explain your sound?
[McCall]: I guess it’s kind of a mesh of everything that we like. We dubbed ourselves imperfect pop because we want to write commercial pop, but we love pulling in all kinds of genres, like hip hop, electronic, and pop-punk, but trying to put our own little twist on it. We really wanted to maintain that structure, that pop feeling, and make it easy for the listener to follow along and understand what we’re trying to say, but then bring in all these different ideas that wouldn’t necessarily be in a typical pop song.
[Mike]: The “imperfectness” comes from the fact that we’re doing it from home. We’re not doing it in a major studio, we’re doing a lot of self-production. So we have a gritty, imperfect sound, which I think gives it some character, as compared to a more perfect, bubblegum sort of pop style. We’re more alternative and natural sounding.
What specific genres or artists do you draw inspiration from?
[McCall]: The fun part of having a two person band is we both have different musical inspirations and interests. For me, a lot of it is focusing on the songwriting, lyricism, and melodies. So I draw a lot of inspiration from female artists who I can resonate with. My favorite right now is Renforshort, she’s got a very cool 2000s punk feel. Halsey has always been one that we’ve drawn from, because she’s a powerhouse. Then of course the bands from our pop-punk roots, like Taking Back Sunday and Motion City Soundtrack. And last but not least, Michelle Branch was like my whole youth, so I really wanted to pull that back in.
[Mike]: Definitely all the bands that McCall mentioned. I’ve been listening to a lot of pop-punk revival stuff right now, a lot of midwest emo. There’s this band Movements that I really like. There’s this band that’s really small right now that I like called Origami Angel. I’m into Knuckle Puck as well.
How would you describe your creative process? From idea to recording, how do you go about making your music?
[Mike]: It’s a little bit of a melting pot. McCall is a really great concept writer, she comes up with a lot of ideas on her own. Then I’ll work on writing a cool riff, feeling a certain vibe on that given day, see what she thinks of it, and then try to arrange the production from there.
[McCall]: I love it, because we’re allowed to kind of go off to our own brainstorming areas, do our own little thing, and then come back together and work on it collaboratively. That’s the creative process. After that, when it comes to actually finishing songs and getting them out, it can get a little more complicated. We try to bring on a producer to help finish everything off and get a third set of ears on it. Then it’s out in the world!
Tell us about life as a pop group in the Nashville scene.
[McCall]: It’s interesting, because before we moved down here, we were a little weary just with the reputation that Nashville has, having been told before that “Nashville is not the right scene for pop music.” Now that we’ve been down here, it’s been super surprising how many people are in the pop scene here, how much it’s growing, and how collaborative it is. It’s the right moment to just work with everybody, and we’re so happy that we chose to come here.
[Mike]: There’s a lot of room for people at the bottom. There’s a lot more entry level appreciation for pop artists here, versus maybe somewhere like L.A. where we’d be very small fish in a big pond. I think it feels really good to be here, it’s a great fit for us.
What’s one short term goal and one long term goal you have as an artist?
[Mike]: I guess for the short term, right now we’re trying to work on getting a couple of singles together and eventually an EP. We’re also trying to get our live show together. We had a lot of songs come out during the pandemic, so we haven’t had a chance to do a live show yet. We’re hoping to get a couple of other musicians in the band for that.
[McCall]: Long term, we’ve always wanted to play a festival of any kind, even if it’s super small. That’s been a goal, and maybe a tour at some point.
Finally, what do you have in the works right now? Do you have some new music on the way that we can look forward to?
[Mike]: We’ve been writing a lot since we got down here, almost too many songs to pick through and figure out which ones we want to end up producing. It’s been a little while since our last release, so definitely a lot of music upcoming.
[McCall]: There’s a song that we’re hoping to put out within the next two months, but we want to get everything kind of lined up and ready to go before we start releasing again.
You can explore all of davvn’s music, follow them on social media, and keep up to date with everything they have going on by checking out the link below. Cheers!
All photos courtesy of davvn.