Watch a trip in Death Valley: David Douglas’ new video ‘California Poppy’

Cerebral beat-maker and horticultural enthusiast David Douglas pushes a new track out into the tundra. See (and get) it for yourself here.

Posted on Jul 17th, 2012 in Videos, David Douglas / By James Pullin

David Douglas was a Scottish plant hunter and documentarian who trawled North America at the turn of the nineteenth century, collecting seeds and specimens previously unknown to mankind. Drawing inspiration from his namesake, the twenty first century David Douglas has pursued a analogously analogue approach to his craft with his debut album Royal Horticultural Society. Sharing an enthusiasm for the organic with the old explorer, the modern David Douglas informs his sound with a view of the natural landscape, whether that be the Icelandic lupine fields or the blasted heaths of Death Valley. The beat of first single 'California Poppy' melts and blends with a bumping rattle while an incomprehensible vocal hum rises and falls behind it, there's a harmony to the song's arrangement which is distinctly anti-urban. The video for the track was also directed by Double D (as David Douglas presumably likes to be called) and works as a fitting companion piece to the music itself, with its vacant spaces and melancholic colouring; a Lars von Trierian planet even hangs ominously over the whole scene.

There's an expansiveness to the sounds of Royal Horticultural Society which will be familiar to listeners of Clams Casino, while certain tracks, like the featured 'California Poppy', contain a lucid Caribou inspired groove. All of this points to a level of assurance far beyond David Douglas' muscial years, and it makes the fact that this is his first LP even more surprising. Another noteworthy positive is that the character trundeling around in the aforementioned video looks exactly like the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come from the Muppet's Christmas Carol, which is sort of terrifyingly nostalgic.

'California Poppy' by David Douglas is available for free download here.