“Alice” the latest single by singer/songwriter Trevor Drury
“Alice” the latest single by singer/songwriter Trevor Drury marks a distinct shift for the artist’s musical identity, one that may surprise some of his longtime fans who’ve come to know him for his breakout success in mainly stripped back piano and vocal performances. Born in Tuscon and raised in San Diego, Trevor has always been a massive music fan with an eclectic taste that certainly shows in this more gothic approach that feels somehow cut from the cloth of snappy crooners like Franz Ferdinand, but the screeching strings feel more evocative of latter-day Fleetwood Mac, like something you’d hear on their track “Tusk”. Initially working as a model before pivoting to music, he’s joined on this track by producer and Grammy winner Mark Swersky who Drury has stated has been a pivotal force in trying to create an unorthodox pseudo pop sound.
The Fleetwood Mac comparison might be slightly deliberate too as the track was mixed by Mark Needham known for working with the aforementioned group along with Elton John, Pink, and Imagine Dragons to name a few. Upon first listen I was hit with an almost feeling of sensory overload from the overwhelming strings to the chaotic drumming before Drury’s voice comes in to stabilize the ordeal in a way. None of this is negative criticism as there are plenty of hit acts that haveve made a notable impact by affronting others with the kind of “wall of sound” approach. It’s a track that finds a nice blend of style and substance since so much of the lyrical content is very obtuse.
The backstory of the song is that while on a trip Drury found a piece of graffiti in an abandoned train car that read “Alice, it’s all in your head” and following some time, the songs began to flow out of him and he wanted to create something as enigmatic as the feeling he was penetrated by when seeing the mysterious art. In the scenes video on the track he cites sounds evocative of “American Horror Story” which I think means that kind of off-kilter almost Bernard Herman sound mixed with a lot of the more glam and poppy elements.
There’s been plenty who’ve utilized these tricks in the past, but while those seemed to be more indebted to cultures of goth and emo, this takes the tone of horror but grounds it in a more accessible sound that I think will resonate with many. Going back to the lyrics, because of the general feelings echoed in the song and what could very much be interpreted as Drury’s take on Alice in Wonderland, the whole effect is hypnotic, like something out of the Overlook hotel. Sometimes Drury’s voice has a hard time hitting the heights of what the instrumentals are aiming for, but that could also be a stylistic choice to get across the overwhelming feeling of dread and unease that permeates the song. If this is the first sample of what’s to come from Drury, I’d say we have an exciting trip down the rabbit hole to look forward to.