A sentimental jazz song, a country ode to heartache and a sultry soul gem collide today in another trifecta single release from singer-songwriter, actor and creative cauldron Presley Davis Jr. Balancing various genres across his brand new tracks, Heart of My Heart, Showdown and Convincing Me, all out today, Presley’s eclectic prowess grows to new heights as he steps ever-closer to the upcoming release of three simultaneous albums; Roadside Magnolia, Torana Americana and Birdlife, with these albums forming into the amalgamated Eclecta Trifecta collective, due out on July 23.

Kicking off in swoon city, Presley’s first new single out today, Heart of My Heart, doles out the charm with ambling brass and tinkling keys as Presleyeffortlessly channels classic jazz with hints of barbershop charm throughout. A time-travelling delight that hastens you back to the golden age of Bing Crosby and poetic lyricism, Heart of My Heart also beckons another snapshot into Presley’s upcoming full length album Roadside Magnoliadropping this July as part of the Eclecta Trifecta project. “Heart of My Heart is a classic old jazz number,” shares Presley. “I love this song because of the beautiful sentiment in it. Modern pop music lyrics don’t have phrases like “I know a tear would glisten, if once more I could listen”. This was a pop song back in the day, just think about that for a moment. It’s definitely influenced by classic singers like Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Dean Martin. I used to sing a lot of barbershop music when I was young and if you’re at my favourite pizza bar on a Tuesday you might hear the local barbershop group rehearsing at the next table.”

Next up, throwback country meets modern bliss via Showdown; the latest single from Presley’s forthcoming Torana Americana album as part of Eclecta Trifecta. With its crooning lyrics and sunny twang, Showdown bustles with warm instrumentals and poignant vocals, tapping into the past and the future simultaneously, as Presley explains, “I really like older country music like Willie Nelson and Hank Williams. I also like alternative country and roots artists like Gillian Welch and Anders Osborne. In this song you can hear the old with a bit of the new mixed in. This song was inspired by some of my past relationships. Sometimes you break up because it isn’t working, but then you get lonely, so you go back. Wash, rinse, repeat. We’ve all been there, haven’t we?”

And completing today’s simultaneous single release from Presley Davis Jr. is Convincing Me; a sumptuous and sleek concoction of funk and soul that could easily find itself at home soundtracking a salacious piece of cinema with its swaggering bassline and lush sonic backdrop. “I often write songs by playing a different instrument for a while,” shares Presley of conjuring Convincing Me. “Toying around with bass guitar often results in a song for me and that is what happened here. The original “scratch” lyrics for this were about going outside of your normal parameters for who you would sleep with – “you’re not my type, but…you’re convincing me.” When I revisited it, I thought that was a tad offensive so I rephrased it as “we shouldn’t go there, but you’re convincing me”. I can see this being included on a soundtrack because there is so much cheating and shagging going on in TV and movies these days. I love listening to Prince, Stevie Wonder, James Brown and I think you can definitely hear some of those influences on this track.”

The task of simultaneously creating three full-bodied and stylistically diverse albums saw Presley dive into a horde of personally meaningful genres, with the Eclecta Trifecta project also evolving from his experience during the pandemic years. Evaluating himself both personally and professionally at the time, Presley’s soul searching ultimately led to him settling on the idea to release a three-album project, with all three albums in three different styles set to release on the same day. Consisting of Roadside Magnolia, Torana Americana and Birdlife, Eclecta Trifecta spans everything from old-timey jazz to country, bluegrass, funk and soul, with all three diverse but focused albums beating at their core with Presley’s passion and deep understanding for each musical realm. Of his upcoming three albums, Presley shares, “Roadside Magnolia is a tip of the hat to my father and his lifelong dedication to performing that style of music. Torana Americana is me celebrating my love of playing and singing the music I grew up playing. Birdlife continues my obsession with all things soulful and funky. Funk has a history of including comedic tracks and there are certainly a few of those on there as well.”

Opening with the jangly Shine On Harvest Moon, Roadside Magnolia bustles with timeless whimsy and a sharp understanding of the traditional jazz genre, steadily doling out arrangements and lyrical delivery that would happily sit alongside the likes of Cole Porter (Nevertheless), alongside upbeat speakeasy vibes (Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue – In A Shanty, In Old Shanty Town and Sin To Tell A Lie), a stellartwist on a classic made famous by Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline (Crazy), a velvet-clad jazz take on a classic love song (It Had To Be You), and a standout adaptation of a longtime jazz staple (Lazy River).

Switching gears to an album made to be consumed on road trips or accompanied by a shot of whiskey, Torana Americana hurls a jubilant spotlight on all things country, from the toe-tappin’, string-fuelled opener Petunia through to a countrified version of a 1996 hit from The Monkees (Last Train to Clarksville), a cosy twist on a country and gospel favourite (Seven Spanish Angels), energetic bluegrass (Friend of the Devil – Blue Moon of Kentucky and A Full Time Job) as well as a stirring love song fuelled by glistening banjos (Sugarcane), and a modern alt country closer in the form of Bigger the Debt.

And from classic jazz and country licks to sleek scintillation, the third album from the Eclecta Trifecta series finds Presley embracing rhythm and blues with soul through a simultaneous vintage and contemporary lens, with seven songs lying in wait on Birdlife. From the tempered sensuality of its opening number How Can I, Presley effortlessly oozes through steamy funk (My Escape), upbeat gloss (Where You Be At), disco-ready beats (Cause I’m Rich), undulating soul (10 Shades of Blue), and an effusive celebration of tongue-in-cheek lyricism alongside breathy flutes and catchy hooks (YASWOM).

With Roadside Magnolia, Torana Americana and Birdlife all self-produced by Presley, the end result for all three full-lenghths was also cemented alongside mixing and mastering by Presley’s long-time collaborator and great friend Jason Torrens for Birdlife and Torana Americana, with Roadside Magnolia mixed in Argentina by Alejandro Rosenblat and mastered by Lucas Gomez. “I produce everything myself and can be pretty insistent on what I want based on what I hear in my head,” shares Presley. “Birdlife and Torana Americana were mixed and mastered by Jason Torrens, he owns Debasement Studios in Ferntree Gully, Victoria and has worked with Bodyjar, You Am I, Slipknot, as well as being Senior Program Leader at Collarts (Australian College of the Arts). I ended up getting Roadside Magnolia mixed in Argentina by Alejandro Rosenblat and mastered by Lucas Gomez. It is hard to find someone to mix jazz as it’s pretty niche and these guys did a great job. Be wary of mixers who say they can mix jazz without hearing an example of what they did first.”

A jack of all musical trades and adopting his stage name to honour Sammy Davis Jr., it seemed predestined that Presley Davis Jr would find himself immersed in the arts. Receiving his first guitar and tenor banjo at the age of eight from his father, a member of the Nicky Capodice Banjo Band, Presley was contracted to sing old jazz favourites six nights a week by the age of 17 and was touring North America by the age of 25, performing with different bands in different styles spanning bluegrass, blues, soul and rock. Eventually moving to his wife’s hometown of Melbourne, Presleywould find himself hemmed in by the world’s longest lockdown during the pandemic years; but rather than dull his creativity, Presley turned to his work and aspired to conjure something entirely for himself. And it’s via his upcoming trifecta album release and the independent process that Presley Jr has found the long-awaited return of full and unbridled creative fulfillment, as he explains, “This has been a real learning experience for me. I am feeling fulfilled for the first time in a long time. A lot of musicians have these dreams of doing new projects but get overwhelmed by the work involved that isn’t music related like admin and promo. Doing it yourself is genuinely hard but once you get through the first time it becomes easier. My current working theory is to record what you want, have fun and explore your creativity wherever it takes you. The music “industry” is in shambles so why not set your own goals?” 

And after successfully mastering multiple genres across the space of three insatiable albums all at once, just where will Presley Davis Jr. turn his creative gaze to next? “A blues record is in the pipeline,” Presley concludes. “I am toying with a hip-hop-ish record, or at least a beats-based record followed by a rock record. Then I might retire and take up lawn bowls full time – I’m actually pretty good on the green already.”

Heart of My Heart, Showdown and Convincing Me are out today, Tuesday June 25

Roadside Magnolia, Torana Americana and Birdlife, aka the Eclecta Trifecta, are due out on Friday July 23 exclusively on Bandcamp.