Arizona born and California raised Trevor Drury has released a number of well-received singles since his first track “I Know You from the 70’s” caught the attention of many pop music fans. Deeming Drury’s art as pop is no minimization of its value; instead, Drury’s earliest and latest recordings alike are far from disposable pop cuts lacking the charisma and musical substance to make them anything less than ephemeral. His latest single “Chapter 4” visits familiar thematic territory for a pop song – the aftermath of a breakup and its attendant storm of conflicting emotions. Drury spins the theme in an individual direction thanks to an idiosyncratic use of language and his singing skills. He tailors his vocals to suit the demands of each new song and this flexibility is a characteristic few peers share. “Chapter 4” is, arguably, Drury’s most effective single yet.
The unique musical imagination of the song sets it apart as well. The light phantasmagorical opening of the song with its claustrophobic swell of sound begins things on an unexpected note before the first verse but remains even as Drury starts singing. Synthesizers rise in the mix and further flesh out the song and we grip onto a well-known trajectory when drums enter the track soon thereafter. It is an unusual build, far from paint by numbers, but it has a recognizable grasp of fundamentals.
It generates atmosphere as well. The climb and descent of the bass line, distorted in patches by post production effects, gives “Chapter 4” an unsettled heartbeat or suggest the feeling of the room closing in on the song’s speaker the more they reflect. The track undergoes a transformation as it progresses. The uneasy mood of the opening gives way to a stately march, near symphonic pop absent any strings beyond some apparent discreet fills scattered throughout the tune.
Drury’s vocal talents are not cut from a traditional cloth, but I love the emotion he conjures with his voice and he has an ear for phrasing lyrics in a dramatic fashion without ever descending into bathos and melodrama. Tackling this sort of material requires a steady and artful hand; lesser talents might have tipped the song into gaudy theatrics. Trevor Drury, instead, demonstrates an unflappable skill for hitting all the right notes. It reflects the dedication he has exhibited towards developing his instrument and, of course, the innate talent lurking there all along.
His latest single “Chapter 4”runs a little under four minutes long and a worthy addition to his growing discography, but there’s more. It shows a music artist growing more daring with each new recording, pushing himself to create and capture artistic moments with the power to touch the human heart, and providing an entertaining and intelligent experience for listeners. This is a rare combination in any one or in any era. Drury is a singer engaged with life and the world and I get the sense listening to “Chapter 4” that, as fine as it is, this artist hasn’t yet reached his peak.
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