Like many musicians, Jim Davis has been restricted to livestream concerts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The artist, also known as Suburbanoid, was inspired by the virtual shows, ultimately leading to him releasing his new single “Sunshine,” on Tuesday.
In an interview with the News-Press, Mr. Davis said he first showcased the new song in a virtual concert he dedicated to the country of Italy. As he wasn’t able to go on tour in Europe like he had wanted to in support of his album, “Malibu Fire Sessions,” the avant-garde musician decided to hold a “Virtual World Tour,” with each digital concert dedicated to a different country.
For the last song during his concert dedicated to Italy, Mr. Davis performed a piano version of “Sunshine” as its last number. He then decided he wanted to release the studio version of “Sunshine,” which features himself on vocals, acoustic 12-string guitar, and electric piano, as well as Weird Al Yankovic’s guitarist Jim “Kimo” West on slack key guitar and Randy Tico on bass.
According to Mr. Davis, the song is reminiscent of the day it was written during a visit at his friend’s property in Manchester, CA, during which it was raining for days on end. When the sun finally came out, Mr. Davis was sitting outside picking on his guitar, his dog lying under his chair, and the song simply arrived.
“The sun just came out and the song came out,” he said.
When it came to the cover art for the single, his wife, Bettie Bergeron, suggested he recreate the moment he wrote the song.
Though he featured the song during his livestream concert, the acoustic, singer-songwriter style of “Sunshine” is very uncharacteristic for Suburbanoid music. Most of the songs under the Suburbanoid umbrella are instrumental, ambient, and could be described and avant-garde. Mr. Davis said his songs have been featured in six independent films, and therefore described his work as “soundtrack music.”
Through his publishing company, Suburbanoid Music BMI, Mr. Davis hopes to get more of his music used in films as it has often been suggested to him as a way to make a living through his music.
While live gigging is out of the cards, Mr. Davis has no shortage of virtual concerts to keep busy. He plays his Full Moon concert series, which is an ambient performance he does each month when there’s a full moon at night.
Whereas the Full Moon series is relaxing and akin to “sound mediation,” as Mr. Davis said, he and his wife do performances as Suburbanoid Fatties, which is “more conceptual” and as it reflects society, “not always peaceful.”
The Virtual World Tour combines songs from Suburbanoid and Suburbanoid Fatties, but by and large has a relaxing mood. Also, whereas the Full Moon concerts are entirely instrumental and ambient, the Virtual World Tour occasionally features one of Mr. Davis’ singer-songwriter numbers.
Just as he showcased “Sunshine” during one of his Virtual World Tour concerts and subsequently released it as a single, each future Virtual World Tour performance will feature one of his new songs and shortly be followed by a former release.
The next Suburbanoid Virtual World Tour concert will be dedicated to Australia.
“Sunshine” can be purchased online at suburbanoid.com, as well as major online music stores.