Danny Davis knows the galvanizing power of an anthemic, hair-raising song. As the co-founding songwriter behind the long-running Oklahoma City indie rock outfit Husbands, he’s meticulously crafted breezy and emotionally potent tunes about finding your place in the world. His writing always strives to break free from monotony and routine, aiming for meaning and clarity through massive choruses and colorful arrangements.
Cuatro, Husbands’ adventurous and triumphant fourth album that came out Oct. 13 via Thirty Tigers, marks a turning point for Davis. It’s the first LP he’s released without his longtime bandmate, collaborator, and close friend Wil Norton. It’s also an album that Davis made during a time of relative personal stability after quitting his nine-to-five and moving with his wife to Costa Rica. Across 11 arena-filling and richly-produced tracks, the full-length document his growth as a human being and a testament to finding peace in relationships evolving.
Throughout his career, Davis’ songs have tackled the soul-crushing grind of day jobs and his unwavering desire to be a full-time musician. Now that he got his wish and was happily living in Costa Rica to focus solely on music, he needed to reframe his relationship to songwriting. “Before I quit my job, music was an outlet to channel negativity into some sort of release,” says Davis, citing the grind of his one-time software engineering job and growing up in Oklahoma’s bible belt as his reasons to let loose. With one of the major conflicts in his life now resolved, he decided to go back to the basics of why he loved music in the first place by writing universal and inviting songs you could easily grab onto.
“I grew up with popular music—it’s what my dad listened to—and I still love it as an art form,” he says. “I just wanted to make an album for people to be able to sing along and feel a connection through it.” Davis points to watching a video of Coldplay on tour playing “Fix You,” initially as a joke but then being brought to tears by their sincerity, as an inspirational flashpoint.