When I first gave Trevor Shelley de Brauw’s new album Uptown a listen I was writing a letter to someone, trying to decide whether to lie to explain away my bad behavior or tell the truth and own up to my failings as a friend. The music lulled me into this dark battle of my personal code of ethics vs. my urge to simplify life with a tiny lie. Instead, the music led me to acknowledge my actions and feel a whole lot of feelings about the ordeal. Trevor’s got a gift, in that he created a very powerful soundscape that perfectly served as the soundtrack to my personal dilemma that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Trevor, who’s most recognized for his work as a guitarist in Pelican, created a small but valuable piece of art with this album. I had a brief moment of being unimpressed with the simplicity of the songs and overall length of the album, but I dismissed those thoughts instantly when I realized how much these droning impressionistic sounds were making me feel. I was caught off guard when I saw one track titled, “Turn Up For What.” I was eagerly awaiting that track so I could figure out what was going to happen but again I was pleasantly surprised by its quiet strength.
Uptown is the result of ten years of work and marks Trevor’s first solo album. He has always been a force to be reckoned with, but this album transcends genre and gives him the added badge of artist. While that may sound vague, he creates something so simple yet so complex. Something that could be applied to so many different types of art and could work so beautifully as a layer to each. I think this needs to be scooped up to be the soundtrack of a short film asap, but who am I to push my own agenda on such a fantastic solo project.
I don’t think this is an album that should be listened to song by song, I would recommend buying the entire album and putting it on in the background and observing what happens next!
Grab your copy of Uptown from The Flenser here.