A lifelong creative working within the realms of music, film, photography, and the written word.

In the summer of 2021, Rebekah was invited to participate in a ‘Collaborative Participation in Sound’ in Lisbon, Portugal, helmed by David Grubbs (Squirrel Bait/Gastr del Sol), an esteemed experimental musicologist and lecturing academic. This hybrid seminar/think-tank/field recording research expedition resulted in a week spent at Fabriça Braço de Prata: a former munitions factory turned renegade cultural centre, studio space facility, and venue on a quiet, slowly gentrifying stretch of Lisbon's vast port. 

The presentation, a culmination of a week of deep inquiry, and esprit de corps, commenced with an interweaving, autoschediastic sound-mixing composition, involving all of the Sound Syndicate in front of a live audience. This was followed, after a short intermission and in another adjoining room, by a similarly improvised découpé, kinetic prose/poetry reading, comprised of hand documented sound textures collected from the preceding week.

Rebekah followed her breakthrough week of creative collusion and psychoacoustic adventure, to play shows at Igreja de Santa Isabel in Lisbon; at Frida nel Parco in Parco della Montagnola, a large city park in Bologna; at Imbarchino del Valentino, by the bank of the river Po in Torino, and in Porlezza: at Como’s most infamous, and motley bar by the shore of Lake Lugano. Following her mini-tour of Italy, work resumed in Paris, in the last, frigid weeks of winter beginning in January 2022. With the aid of Ukrainian producer, Yura Khustochka, Rebekah began laying tracks on more Faint Spells material, which has set the tone for the collection of songs  she is continuing to work on in coming months. 

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Faint Spells, the name given to the musical project conceived by Rebekah Davies, started as a one woman enterprise, became a band and has now come around full circle to a solo act. After a decade of living in Los Angeles, Sydney and NewYork, Rebekah returned to New Zealand - where she spent her childhood - with the intention of taking the songs she had been writing since she was a teenager and turning them into a live and recording entity. Faint Spells were described in a NO magazine feature by Gareth Shute in 2011 as “creating an ominous mood with sparse musical parts that play off the darker elements of Davies’ lyrics.”

After starting a long distance, collaborative recording project with Jonathan Donahue of Mercury Rev in 2010, Rebekah was asked to take Faint Spells on the road to support his band in Brisbane on their Australian tour. Performing solo was an opportunity to present old and new songs in their original, stripped back form, after having been playing as a band for some years.

The genesis of Faint Spells was in a show mooted by Australian musician and songwriter, Jen Cloher, who proposed that her and Rebekah perform together, playing each other’s songs in front of an intimate audience at the venerated institution that is Auckland’s Wine Cellar. The success of that showcase and an overwhelming reception by the audience, galvanised Rebekah into turning Faint Spells into a band. Thomas Healy (The Verlaines/Paquin) was first on board on lead guitar, followed by Shayne Carter (Straitjacket Fits/Dimmer) and GarySullivan (Jean Paul Sartre Experience/Dimmer) on bass and drums respectively.

This line up practiced, recorded, and played live in Auckland between 2010 - 2012,  in most every venerable venue around across the city. Feature articles subsequently appeared in Black magazine, the aforementioned NO magazine, and the Sunday Star Times magazine, Sunday. In 2012, film director Kirsty Cameron was so impressed with the song ‘Vultures’, that she included it on the soundtrack of her film ‘Swansong’, which saw a world-wide festival release.

This recording came from sessions that were started by Rebekah and Tom during a highly fertile, creative period for Faint Spells. Shayne soon became motivated to further produce the tracks that had been started in Tom’s home studio. He saw joining her band as just another opportunity to play with a musician that he respected: “I just really liked Rebekah’s songs – she has a great sense of aesthetics and has a really good knowledge of music, and that comes through in the songs she writes.”

These added sessions served to capture the sound and the essence of the live band in the studio, which was going from strength to strength. Drawing from a palate of influences as diverse as Billie Holiday’s 'All of Me,' Jeffrey Lee Pierce's 'From Temptation to You', and the fractured squall of Scritti Politti’s 'Skank Bloc Bologna', Faint Spells became an act capable of swinging from hushed, delicate songs of broken romance and nostalgic yearnings, to indignant, bruised, revved up guitar anthems. As Black magazine put it succinctly: “expect something a little dark, a little sweet and a little tough.”

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