Claire Davis is a musical time traveler. Known for her mighty and expressive vocals, Davis authentically and effortlessly brings the sounds of ‘60s and ‘70s soul into the present on her debut solo EP Thrive. Recording the EP to tape, Davis stays true to the golden years of soul music that inspire her most, “I wanted to have the flavour of some of my favourite soul records while also being unique compositionally.” Davis explains, “Using an analog process is all about capturing the vibe of a performance- it’s a practice in giving up the idea of perfection and tapping into the moment when you’re recording.”
Davis developed her love for soul and R&B early, learning to sing lead and background vocals in her high school’s 12-piece Motown R&B band in her hometown, Victoria, British Columbia. The band performed approximately 30 shows a year, including a headlining show backing up Martha Reeves of “Martha & the Vandellas”; formative experiences would inspire Davis to pursue a career in music. Moving to Toronto in 2008, Davis joined the renowned African roots choir “The Nathaniel Dett Chorale”, and went on to pursue a Bachelor of Music Degree from Humber College.
Carving out her reputation as a powerhouse front-woman and background vocalist in the Toronto music scene, Davis joined seven-piece retro funk ensemble YUKA as their lead singer on full-length album releases From the Ancients (2015) and Dreamscape (2019) to critical acclaim. Regarded as one of the best live acts coming out of Toronto, YUKA shared the stage with The Dap-Kings, Lee Fields and the Expressions, Treme Brass Band, and The Soul Jazz Orchestra. Davis also established herself as a go-to background vocalist for all things soul, performing with legends Martha Reeves (of Martha & the Vandellas), Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, and Jully Black, top Toronto breakout artists Charlotte Day Wilson, Jessie Reyez, and Daniel Caesar.
Stepping out on her own as a solo artist, Davis teamed up with producer and YUKA bandmate Scott McCannelll to write and record her debut EP Thrive. An EP that explores themes of relationships and heartbreak, the title track centres on the relationship we have with ourselves- the relationship that all else is built upon, “We blossom the most when we love and take care of ourselves first- it’s the only thing we can truly control.” says Claire of the track. "Thrive" EP was released on July 16, 2021 and a full length LP is currently in the works to be released on UK label LRK Records in early 2023 .
"This sounds like someone who was born to do exactly what she’s doing, the consequence of absorbing a lifetime worth of classic soul music to the point where both ‘she’ and ‘it’ have become so entwined to be indistinguishable."
- Review by Richard Clark for "Great Dark Wonder"
"A soulful soundtrack of heartbreak and love, the five-track EP sees Davis step into her own as an artist and performer, featuring her signature powerhouse vocals accompanied by airtight grooves. The collection of analog recorded songs bring ‘60s and ‘70s soul influences like Aretha Franklin and Al Green into the present; following in the musical footsteps of retro revivalists like Amy Winehouse."
- Julian Swift for the Toronto Guardian
"What a voice! Claire Davis teleports us straight back to the sixties with her soulful new single ‘Thrive’, out now. Channelling the likes of Aretha Franklin and Al Green, Claire powerhouse vocals are complimented by some equally stunning backing vocals and we’re all over it."
-HRMNY Presents Blog (UK)