“Klass writes melodic confections that seep into your psyche and stay…and does so with wit and intelligence” (PopMatters).
Heard the story of the old aunt whose car keys have to be confiscated because she’s too senile to drive without potentially killing somone? Or the one about the man who stops calling his lover by her pet name because their relationship has soured? Or the one about the executive who plants a mole in his staff to find out who his detractors are?
Moment-in-time stories that drive through some of the rockiest terrain of human nature, with twists and turns of phrase and melody connecting a soundtrack that’s equal parts expansive rock and close melancholy – if you’re there, you’ve ventured into the songcraft of Brooklyn’s Scott Klass, aka The Davenports. It’s this music that’s “steeped in pop/rock—Ben Folds meets Weezer …leading you to sing along to songs you’re hearing for the first time while stories unfold of relationships gone awry….” (The Deli) that has been the foundation of The Davenports since Klass started it in 2000.
He puts it out with a rotating cast of great musicians including regular appearances by Claudia Chopek (Father John Misty, Springsteen, Moby), Garo Yellin (The Band’s Visit, The Ordinaires, Pere Ubu), Danny Weinkauf, Dan Miller (They Might Be Giants), Erik Philbrook, Rob Draghi, Cheri Leone and others.
Well-known for “Five Steps,” the theme song to A&E’s Emmy-nominated Intervention, Klass has licensed numerous songs to TV in addition to putting out three critically acclaimed records—Speaking of The Davenports, Hi-tech Lowlife and Why the Great Gallop—which set tales of love, lust, mean, money-dangling mothers, superstitious panic attacks and the like to a torrent of melodic rock.
The Davenports’ latest release, Don’t Be Mad at Me, marks a series of firsts for Klass. Shirley Simms of The Magnetic Fields takes lead vocal on “Miranda in Her Room”--the first Davenports song to ever feature a lead vocalist other than Klass. While the duet comes across as seamless, Klass and Simms recorded their vocals in different cities (New York and Boston, respectively), and they didn’t actually meet in person until the following year at a Magnetic Fields show.
Another song--”I Don’t Know What to Do”--marks Klass’s first co-write. He penned the tune with Swedish popster David Myhr (The Merrymakers) while he was doing a “co-writing tour” of the U.S. last year. As with “Miranda in Her Room,” the recording of “I Don’t Know What to Do” was a long-distance collaboration (in this case, international).
In addition to his own output, Klass/The Davenports are regular contributors to a popular series of cover projects. They recently contributed renditions of Wham! and Randy Van Warmer songs to the compilation series’ Drink a Toast to Innocence (covering the ’70′s) and Here Comes the Reign Again (covering the ’80s)–records which also featured Mike Viola, Freedy Johnston and Rachel Yamagata.
Klass is also a member of Look Park, the new project from Fountains of Wayne frontman Chris Collingwood which also includes Philip Price of Winterpills. Last year, the trio played Japan’s Fuji Rock festival and opened for Britpop legends Squeeze on their west coast tour. This past April, Klass and Collingwood opened for British invasion staple Dave Davies of the Kinks.