The Magic of DAVID: Levitating Ferrari is an ambient and layered collection of songs that speak to Dave Norris’ personal experiences of loss and his re-discovery of the place of music in his life.
Fall is my favourite season. The changing leaves and sudden sharp cold winds tend to make me feel a bit wistful. I don’t think I’m alone in this. I revel in nostalgia and sentimentality; music has always been a big part of actualizing the proper seasonal mood. When earnest music accompanies the process, I see it as an opportunity to be grateful for the people and memories who have made me who I am and to re-commit myself to being present in their lives.
This year, I’ve been turning to Dave Norris’ five-song EP, The Magic of DAVID: Levitating Ferrari, to aid in amplifying my fits of autumnal angst and reflection. Norris recorded this project under the name DAVID to pay homage to his late mother, who passed in 2020, who was the only person who called him by his full name. The inspiration for the album being what it is, I’ve found a lot of comfort in the depth of these songs.
Norris, who has called Toronto home since 2015 after moving from Ottawa, recorded the entirety of the EP in his apartment studio, allowing him to reapply his skill as a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and engineer. Ultimately, lockdowns and the loss of his mother sent Norris back to his songwriter roots. The result is an ambient, layered collection of songs that speak to his personal experiences of loss and re-discovering music’s place in his life as a means of coming to terms with circumstances beyond his control.
“David Copperfield” rings of Sufjan Stevens-inspired instrumentalization. Its lyrics meditate on the nature and process of death, “turning something into nothing,” becoming and unbecoming, being and not being at the same time. On “For M.E.,” Norris sings, “You can stare straight at the sun, cause for me this is still new” over a piano-driven, horn-inflected ballad about coming to view the world with a new perspective and slowly coming to trust in the way life has unfolded. These two songs mark the musical extremes of the album but show the ways in which the central themes are expressed along lines of being open to new understandings and ways of coming into association with oneself.
While The Magic of DAVID: Levitating Ferrari is highly personal to Norris’ life and experience, its mood and tones — like the burnished colours of autumn and the sharp chill of impending winter — is universal. Anyone looking for a moody compilation to accompany their journey through the fallen leaves, early sunsets and long nights that are now upon us, is sure to find some solace here.
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