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Judge for Cindy Davis

Victoria, Canada
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Portrait of Cindy Davis
Although she's enjoyed international success as a major-label songwriter, it wasn't until recently that 26-year-old Cindy Davis decided to record a collection of her jazz-inspired melodic pop. The resulting album, A Year or More, was written and recorded in her Victoria, BC home, and showcases Davis' talent as one of Canada's most impressive singer-songwriters. Think what would happen if the mood and atmosphere of early Coldplay collided with a less-gloomy Fiona Apple, and you'll get the feel of what Davis has on display here: nuanced and intimate arrangements built around well-crafted melodies and inviting vocals. Put simply, she writes the kind of songs you'll wake up singing. It's no wonder Davis' gift for songwriting is as well-honed as it appears on A Year or More. She's been writing music since she was 7. "It's always been a bittersweet mixture of sweat and inspiration," she says of the songwriting process. "I wanted to make an album that reflected that struggle; something that sounded easy, but still complicated." It's not long into your first listen to Davis that you'll realize songwriting is simply part of her nature. And it's that nature that leads Davis to approach the day-to-day with as much care and attention as she pours into songs dealing with issues half a world away. It's this balance between the deeply personal and the wider picture that makes her work so accessible; she's as easy to relate to as she is inspiring. And for a girl who loves good wine, good food and the time to be still as much as anyone, we'd agree it's about time her music made it to a wider audience.