Trey Connor – While Everything Is Now
Trey Connor plays music like someone born to do it and nothing else. He writes songs with the same out front passion and the six songs on his debut solo release, While Everything Is Now, attests to his skill as well as his love for the art. This is clearly a recording artist and songwriter every bit as intent on illuminating life for his listeners as he is entertaining them; there isn’t a single song on this six song EP that his audience won’t find some common ground with. It’s handled exceptionally well with a top notch production job that wisely keeps Connor’s vocals and musicianship at the center of the listeners attention while surrounding him with vivid accompaniment that plays a major role in bringing these tracks to life. While Everything Is Now flies off the starting blocks with a resounding woosh and never looks back.
The first song “What You Are (My Spark)” sets the bar high with its outreaching towards the audience and irrepressible energy. Trey Connor really cuts it loose with his breathless, heart racing vocal sand sounds in complete control of the song throughout. The band responds with an equally inspired performance and gives him the necessary musical muscle needed to sweep his listeners away. He pulls back on the energy level with the following song “Stay”. Much of his songwriting concerns itself with relationships, not exactly new fare, but Connor writes about his experiences with a surprising amount of maturity and manages to say some personal, if not entirely new, things within the form. “Hold On” is, in some senses, a personal song, but there’s much more looking outside of self here than on the previous two numbers. It takes a more considered musical approach too and prioritizes textures and nuance over pure energy.
He takes on a much more rugged rock edge with “You” and dispenses with the melodic conceits of the earlier tracks. He sounds every bit as comfortable in this musical environment and, indeed, it seems to draw something much rougher and hard nosed out of him in comparison to the earlier numbers. “My Ghosts” goes in an acoustic direction and offers the album’s best lyric. There’s some subtle adornments added to the song that keep it from being an entirely solo performance, but the bulk of responsibility for getting this song over with listeners falls much more on Connor’s shoulders than before and he flawlessly pulls it off. “Best of Days” revisits some of the boundless optimism heard on the first half of the EP and marries with a much more rock-oriented arrangement than those earlier songs received.
While Everything Is Now doesn’t set out to remake the wheel, but it does showcase a young songwriter and performer who burns with a fire for communicating and bringing an audience to their feet. There’s tremendous promise on this EP and it comes off so well that it isn’t difficult imagining Connor soon surpassing it with each new future release.
8 out of 10 stars
CD BABY: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/treyconnor