Drew Danburry “Goodnight Danii” (Independent, 2010)
Danburry has been at this for a few years now, releasing more or less a record a year, and he is the kind of performer whose time will, unfortunately, never come. The process will always mean more than the reception, that’s not to say that he doesn’t deserve a wider audience; I’m going to make the case that he does.
These songs are easily accessible, intelligent, he’s a decent singer and the songs have enough hooks and twists to snare the listener. Unfortunately in the music business talent and success is an illusory correlation, only a few will hear these songs and those that do will hold them close, they won’t be evangelical, it will be a private relationship, a secret. I’m happy to shout loudly that Drew Danburry is worth listening to; his music deserves your attention.
He is an amalgam of Eliott Smith, Jonathan Richman, Royal City (think of the ramshackle charm of their first record), there’s a sliver of Conor Oberst in there (he thankfully avoids the excesses) and the same single-mindedness as Bill Callahan, a strong use of imagery bundling up neat capsules of ideas. The music is acoustic indie troubadour with some flourishes like the hot breath of a trumpet or the kiss of a xylophone. The cryptic pop cultural references of the song titles give little away ‘Nirvana by Kurt Cobain’ is a beautiful gentle ripple of acoustics with a voice that carries both heartbreak and hope. ‘Optimus Prime is Dead’ stirs in some doo-wop, ‘Will Oldham’ recycles a refrain of "I will leave…" over a gentle rolling mix of guitar and Wurlitzer. The best title goes to ‘Kevin Costner is the Barry Manilow of Actors’ it’s a love song that’s not florid or overwrought, if only Costner’s recent record had the subtlety and craft on display here. ‘Gorilla Biscuits’ also get a mention and the song is a subtle plea rather than a hardcore bruiser.
The CD comes in a limited edition with an illustrated book that nicely pulls the concept together, the illustrations are simple ink drawings well executed and well thought out. This comes through in the songs ‘Dispersing the Veil’ reminds me of Nick Drake without having to apologise for disturbing his memory, the guitar notes circle around like a moth entranced by a naked lamp, the solo then massed vocal builds modestly, purveying lump in the throat sadness, the last couple of verses fade to just a whisper. Don’t whisper about this record, shout out loud in praise of Drew Danburry.
Date review added: Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Reviewer: David Cowling
Related web link: Hello Kylie