It’s difficult not to immerse yourself in romantic sounds, we’re all subconsciously drawn towards lust. Kevin Drew, former Broken Social Scene frontman, has managed to find a way of projecting the beauty of romanticism with his 11 track solo album ‘Darlings’.
‘Good Sex’ seems a good place to start. The track name is definitely misleading, and certainly left me worried that Pitbull was going to pop up and ruin my life. Anyhow, the bed of the track is well and truly euphoric with the synths swirling beautifully in and out of earshot. Kevin’s vocals add a real sense of fragility, allowing the tone and means of the track to avoid sleaziness (just about). The pace is is perfect as persistent drums ripple along the bouncy arrangement to create one of the strongest lead-singles of the year so far.
The album effortlessly sinks into the lullaby of ‘It’s Cool’- a fine example of a track in the right spot of an album. The dreamy, melodic guitar instantly whisks you off to wonderland, and as soon as Drew’s vocals begin, every sense soon becomes alert. The breezy feel to his voice is faultless, and creates a purity and clearness to combat the streaks of promiscuity. Every last syllable of his vocal comes loaded with heart and sentiment. Corny as it may sound, this is a real-life actual lullaby.
We seriously shouldn’t ignore ‘Bullshit Ballad’. That bold alliteration is eye-catching, as well as the pessimistic connotations sticking out against all the other offerings. It’s one of the more upbeat tracks on the LP and proves that Drew can still write a guitar-led radio single. The layered guitar melodies give off a tropical vibe similar to that of shoe gazers DIIV, and the repetitive drum beat adds tension, allowing Drew’s voice to smooth out the track in echoes and admirable, lengthy notes. Kevin Drew’s undying ability to fuse pop sensibilities with candid lyricism remains paramount to the triumph of ‘Darlings’. It’s a skill that seems just as present on tunes like ‘Body Butter’ and ‘First In Line’ as it does on the wealth of Broken Social Scene material.
Even after numerous plays, the wildly romantic tone and faded star scepticism withheld throughout is still as powerful as it is on the first hearing. ‘Darlings’ is a record about making up and making out, getting on and getting off and doing it all for the millionth time. Kevin Drew, you the man.
Words: Cerys Kenneally