Elise Davis Gregg Roth

In the world of color theory, there’s an illustration used by artists, scientists and psychologists alike: the color wheel, as it’s called, a visual map of the relationships between primary, secondary and tertiary colors. Red and green — the hallmark hues of each of Elise Davis’ last two albums — sit exactly opposite one another on that wheel, and I can’t help but think of it when the Little Rock native discusses her vastly different approaches to those albums, “The Token” and “Cactus.” Davis holed up in a cabin in Maine for 10 days with her band and producer Sam Kassrier for “The Token,” tracking nearly everything live. “There’s a beauty in that,” Davis said on her session for Paste Magazine last month. “You capture something in this time.” Davis’ latest, “Cactus,” on the other hand, was recorded over the course of six months. It’s swaddled in strings, with markedly less vocal reverb, allowing her lyrics to read less like a diaristic fever dream than a deadpan guidebook to the perils of emotional growing pains. (See: “Man.”)

Best of all for this particular listener, it’s given a whole new audience a chance to fall in love with the sage, lush retrospective that first sparked my own Elise Davis fandom: “Married Young.”


Davis performs tonight at Stickyz, 9 p.m. The perpetually stunning Adam Faucett opens the show. See arkansaslivemusic.com for tickets.