Allow me to introduce you to Daveit Ferris; an astonishingly innovative singer, songwriter, poet and producer from Derry in Northern Ireland. His revolutionary “365 Sparks” project is a musical undertaking unlike any other. Its goal is to release a song every single day in 2015. That’s an incredible 365 songs in total between January and December of this year. The feat is made even more impressive by the fact that Ferris composes and arranges each track himself, carrying out guitar, bass, drum, piano and vocal duties all alone.
Each day when the clock hits 5pm GMT, a new offering is released on the artist’s superbly detailed website. Every song is free to stream and every Saturday’s contribution can be downloaded without charge. Ferris’s intention is to keep things fresh and exciting by dabbling in various genres and catering to a wide range of musical tastes. The material that has hit so far is a captivating mixture of pop and rock, all of which exudes passion and personality.
Now you may wonder as to the quality of the work, given its frequency, and I can honestly say that of the 26 tracks available at the time of this article’s publication, there exists not one that I could critique as being even mediocre. Ferris’s talent and execution is awesome, in the truest sense of the word. The project thus far has produced some of the best new music I’ve heard in recent times, to the extent that I could ramble on about it for pages and pages. Instead though, I’ll put the spotlight on ten of my personal favourites.
The appropriately titled “Keep Your Resolutions” premiered on New Year’s Day, kicking off “365 Sparks” in fine form. Its upbeat pop punk riff is complemented by an infectious melody that generates a bright and cheerful atmosphere. It commences the project with a lot of accessibility, instantly making one believe that this whole endeavour really is going to be something special.
“I’m the Bull/You’re the China Shop” immediately steals attention with an extraordinarily enthralling bass effect laced with expressive lyrics and vocals. It’s a lighter pop/rock composition swelling with character.
Blasting off with hectic, riotous vocals, “Kill the Chords” is an irresistibly absorbing rock anthem. The coarse and raw melody unfolds over instrumentation that’s heavy but happy.
Piercing guitars slice through you as “This Is Your Captain Speaking” begins. It invades your senses as it darts along on pressing riffs and frantic vocals. The rebellious energy of the sound makes for a delightfully liberating listen.
“Nail in the Coffin” is one of the more mellow entries, featuring relaxing acoustic guitars and a pleasant harmony. The vocals echo and resonate in the chorus, while an inexplicable warmth radiates from the background piano keys, resulting in an easy listening piece rich with emotion.
Pounding percussion and blaring guitars race through “I Just Don’t Give a Fuck”, along with aggressive vocals and lyrics that howl out during a relentlessly catchy melody. It all works together to craft a wonderfully obscene punk rock classic that’s a whole of fun.
“Freight Train” features an exhilaratingly fierce acoustic riff. The fractious vocals and tune are spectacular. It sounds so busy and bustling that it’s easy to forget that the only musical element at play is a guitar. It recalls the glory days of Britpop in the best way.
Palpitating drums lead “Animal Liberation” into a rapid riff that barges along with purpose. Hypnotically high-pitched vocals dominate the verse before becoming uproariously obstinate for the chorus. All in all, this is a marvelous electronically infused hard rock effort that succeeds absolutely.
“Words Cut Me” starts with chimes that preface tormented vocals, rife with pain and anguish. The pervading chorus is flooded with agony and expression. It’s a solemn acoustic ballad that hits hard and cuts deep.
Suitably enough, my final selection is also the latest upload as this is being written; “Year of You”. Guitars and drums build consistently, stomping along through its melodic chorus. It’s an immense and weighty rock extravaganza with which to start the week.
Daveit Ferris’s devotion to this project and the amount of effort that is being put into every aspect of it is truly spellbinding. “Sparks 365” has yet to take a single misstep and I highly recommend checking it out. You can experience all of the above tracks – as well as 16 further additions (and counting) that are no less accomplished – on Ferris’s official website. There you will also find artwork, lyrics and articles about each song, among many other features worth exploring.