|Kevin Drew — Darlings (2014)|
Kevin Drew — Darlings
♦♦ One of the masterminds behind Toronto’s thriving Broken Social Scene ensemble, Kevin Drew is a Canadian indie-rock icon.
Born: September 9, 1976 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Album release: March 18, 2014
Record Label: Arts & Crafts
01 Body Butter 2:27
02 Good Sex 3:11
03 It's Cool 3:53
04 Mexican After Show Party 3:29
05 You Gotta Feel It 4:05
06 First In Line 3:05
07 Bullshit Ballad 4:14
08 My God 4:47
09 You In Your Were 4:02
10 You Got Caught 4:08
11 And That's All I Know 5:26
♦ Ohad Benchetrit / Kevin Drew / Charles Spearin: 3, 6, 8
♦ Kevin Drew: 1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11
♦ Kevin Drew / Dave Hamelin: 4
♦ Ohad Benchetrit Composer, Unknown Performer Role
♦ Brendan Canning Bass
♦ Shawn Creamer Vocals (Background)
♦ Kevin Drew Composer, Primary Artist, Producer, Unknown Performer Role
♦ Leslie Feist Vocals
♦ Dave Hamelin Composer, Engineer, Mixing, Producer, Unknown Performer Role
♦ Graham Lessard Engineer, Producer
♦ Jeff Melanson Vocals (Background)
♦ Benjamin Oegema Assistant Engineer
♦ Ohad Bass, Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Marimba
♦ Anthony Price Assistant Engineer
♦ Jimmy Shaw Vocal Samples
♦ Charles Spearin Composer, Unknown Performer Role
♦ Nyles Spencer Engineer, Mixing Assistant
♦ Jason Stasink Assistant Engineer
♦ Dean Stone Unknown Performer Role
Similar Albums: Broken Social Scene: Forgiveness Rock Record, Archer Prewitt: White Sky, The Sea and Cake: Runner, Wheat: Hope and Adams, The Album Leaf: A Chorus of Storytellers, Caribou / Manitoba: Up in Flames, The National: Trouble Will Find Me, Lambchop: Nixon..., etc.
BY JOSH TERRYON MARCH 10, 2014, 4:54PM
♦♦ Broken Social Scene frontman Kevin Drew will release his sophomore solo album Darlings on March 18th via Arts & Crafts. In anticipation, it’s streaming in full below.
♦♦ The follow-up to 2007's Spirit If.., Darlings was recorded in Alberta with co-producers Dave Hamelin (The Stills) and Graham Lessard (Stars). The 12-track album features contributions from Charles Spearin and Ohad Benchetrit of Do Make Say Think and Broken Social Scene and Dean Stone of Apostle of Hustle. It includes the singles “Good Sex” and “Mexican Aftershow Party”.
♦♦ “This record is a celebration of memories,” Drew said in a statement. “It’s about the rise and fall of love and sex, in my own life and in today’s society. This topic has been with me for years. I approached it focused purely on the songwriting, leaving all the tricks and explosions behind. I hope you like it… and if you don’t, give to someone who will.” Fortaken: http://consequenceofsound.net/
Artist Biography by Jason Lymangrover
♦♦ As a founding member of the experimental indie pop group Broken Social Scene, as well as a member of the label that puts out its music, Arts & Crafts, Kevin Drew worked with ten or more musicians in a collective that helped usher in the chamber pop movement. He grew up in Toronto and got his creative start attending high school at the prestigious Etobicoke School of the Arts along with two future members of BSS, Emily Haines and Amy Millan. After his interests changed from acting to music, he teamed up with Charles Spearin for a recording project called K.C. Accidental and released two records. The duo gradually blossomed into the more ambitious Broken Social Scene, and in 2007 he recorded his first solo release, Spirit If..., the first in a proposed series of solo records by various members of the mega-group. His second solo record came seven years later, following the success, and eventual hiatus of Broken Social Scene in 2011. Later in 2013 he began working with Canadian singer/songwriter Andy Kim, which reignited his creative flair and resulted in another solo album. Eventually, his second offering, Darlings, was recorded and expected to appear in 2014.
BY: LUC RINALDI; GRID RATING: 7/10
♦♦ Kevin Drew’s 2007 solo debut, Spirit If…, was, to many people’s ears, a Broken Social Scene record. While the songs were written by Drew, the Toronto collective’s founder and frontman, the band officially “presented” the album, its umpteen members played on it, and the music had the group’s signature sound. Darlings, by contrast, is categorically a Kevin Drew album. Sure, much of the contributing cast is the same and the style is familiar, but Drew sounds like he’s in control. His voice is high in the mix right from the opening moments of intro “Body Butter.” Every layer sounds intentional and carefully selected, from the acoustic guitar to the driving kick and snare — that cohesion is an all-but-impossible challenge when you’re dealing with a dozen-plus bandmates. Simple single “Good Sex” captures the album’s lyrical subject matter (flashbulb memories and making love) and sonic core. That newfound focus gives Darlings a strong sense of self and allows Drew to be more direct with his songwriting. ♦♦ Thanks to tactful instrumentation and straightforward percussion, the disc feels nicely self-contained. The flipside is that the album’s 11 tracks lack the jubilant magic and spontaneous energy of Spirit If…’s “Lucky Ones” or “Frightening Lives” (the climax of the boisterous “Bullshit Ballad” is the closest thing to an exception). In fact, Darlings might be seen as a more electronic version of Brendan Canning’s solo acoustic effort, last year’s expectedly mellow You Gots 2 Chill. But the relaxed mood is hardly a flaw. ♦♦ It’s just proof that Drew can deliver, whether there are 20 people on stage or just one.
Playlist picks: “Body Butter,” “Good Sex,” “My God”
by TOM MOON; March 09, 201411:00 PM
♦♦ Back in 2007, Kevin Drew (of Toronto's baroque-pop collective Broken Social Scene) gazed longingly at a woman and pronounced her too beautiful for the carnal escapades swirling inside his brain. That song, "Tbtf," was among the wondrous creations on his solo debut Spirit If — a worship-dream set in a sleek, gliding tempo, and sung in a mood of melancholy wistfulness.
♦♦ Now Drew returns with the exceedingly direct "Good Sex," which looks at vanishing romantic ideals in the age of the Tinder hookup. "Good sex should never make you feel hollow," he sings, skipping up to a giddy post-coital falsetto for the last syllable. "Good sex should never make you feel clean."
♦♦ Is this progress? Going from a nuanced, image-rich reverie like "Tbtf" to a repeating series of blunt observations on the art of sex?
♦♦ In Drew's case, yes. We often measure artistic growth by focusing on the big strides, but the evolution that defines Drew's second solo album, Darlings, is most apparent in the fine print — and, notably, in what he's trimmed away to make hyper-streamlined, tightly edited songs. The songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who helped guide Broken Social Scene through several gorgeous, lushly orchestrated albums is thinking differently about the scale of his songs, pruning back whatever is unnecessary. ♦♦ "Good Sex" works in part because it aims to express a simple idea, and uses few words juxtaposed against BSS-like widescreen music to do it. At the song's start, Drew's declarations seem oddly prescriptive and blunt, the mantras of a free-weekly sex columnist. But as the accompaniment gathers steam and eventually arrives at a full anthemic thrum, the tone changes, and a more personal refrain — "I'm still breathing with you, baby" — takes over. Just like that, what began as a cheap device sprouts dimension, registering as intimate, romance-novel heroic and just a touch sarcastic all at once.
♦♦ This kind of distillation is an art, and Darlings suggests that Drew is becoming a master of it. Many of the songs spring from stray ideas and single moments; rather than seize and analyze the component parts of some fleeting rush, Drew just follows its path, then figures out what sorts of sounds best convey its essence. Some songs, like "It's Cool," amount to a series of vibey Lou Reed-ish whispers; others, like "You Gotta Feel It," use the propulsion of a basic four-on-the-floor bass drum to power a brave search for what matters in life. Where other songwriters obsess over the details of story, Drew zooms in on a moment and chases the full sensory experience of it — to hear perhaps the most crystalline of these freeze-frame moments, check out "First in Line."
♦♦ Then there's "You in Your Were," an unsettling reverie punctuated by vaguely math-rock guitar arpeggios. It's a look at the power of lingering memories, and what it means to hang on, perhaps obsessively, to a memory — a topic that has doomed many songs to the high-concept dungeon. Drew avoids this fate through inventive, continuously unfolding guitar and synth textures. The song is one long rousing crescendo; its surging rhythm, which recalls Neon Bible-era Arcade Fire, gathers momentum like a plane on the runway. Everything is hurtling forward, except for those words Drew is singing about looking back, and the contrast is just strange enough to sound like genius.
♦♦ There's a lot of that disarming stuff on Darlings. Though he's thinking in simpler, more earthbound terms as a lyricist, Drew can't help but write music that sprawls in satisfying, sometimes bone-rattling ways. He's on the hunt for atmospheres that allow for the expression of profound intimacy and massive sonic grandeur all at once, and when he finds one, it's a glimpse of a rare and beautiful euphoria. (http://www.npr.org/)
♦♦ Spirit If... (2007)
♦♦ Darlings (2014)
Broken Social Scene:
♦♦ Feel Good Lost (2001)
♦♦ You Forgot It in People (2002)
♦♦ Bee Hives (2004)
♦♦ Broken Social Scene (2005)
♦♦ Forgiveness Rock Record (2010)
♦♦ Captured Anthems for an Empty Bathtub — (1998)
♦♦ Anthems for the Could've Bin Pills — (2000)
|Kevin Drew — Darlings (2014)|