It's nice that we're seeing acoustic-led sounds making a comeback in the mainstream consciousness...
While there's certainly nothing wrong with electronic, auto-tune heavy fare, I think we can all admit to a certain amount of fatigue when we hear yet another song on the radio powered by driving synth chords. No one's asking for that to go away, but variety is the spice of life, and monocultures kill ecosystems. Enter an artist like Trevor Douglas and it feels like a blast of AC on a hot day.
This Dallas-based musician may be familiar to you. He was an American Idol finalist in 2015, he played the opening slot for the Jonas Brothers at GEXA's Heineken Lounge, and has had stints at The Dallas International Film Festival and Texas State Fair for the last three years. His home state even awarded him the title of 'Most Entertaining Singer in Texas', solidifying him as a musician to watch in the region. His sound is crafted around live guitar loops, simple beats, and catchy melodies. It's a great listening time, and his latest track, "Stay By Your Side" encapsulates his oeuvre in one easy to enjoy package.
The piece is built around his acoustic guitar playing, very much in an Ed Sheeran vein. His lead vocal style is also eerily similar to the British acoustic pop superstar. His backup vocalizations feel a little more early-nineties, however, almost boyband-esque. Interesting for a solo act. While he leans on real instruments more than not, when he does drop the beat and go electronic it feels like it grows naturally out of where the song is. Overall it makes for a piece that trickles easily down the ear.
Lyrically, Douglas starts from a place of modern pop-folk, but quickly winds up somewhere that feels much more mainstream. It's a straightforward enough story. Boy loves girl who was in an emotionally abusive relationship, boy expresses his feelings truly and simply. There's nothing wrong with that, in fact that's the song's greatest strength. When it gets in to its rhythm the words hit a cadence that worms its way straight in to the brain. Even after four or five listens it doesn't wear out its welcome. Just repetitive enough to be catchy, not so much so that it gets lazy. It takes outrageous work to be this effortless, and it gives Douglas' work a pure distilled charm.
With so many artists making names for themselves in the public sphere, it can be easy to let people slip off your radar. But lets also not forget that with the age of the smartphone, adding new performers to your world is as simple as a few touches of the screen. You owe it to yourself to throw a few of those towards Trevor Douglas. He has an EP dropping later this Summer, and in the meantime you want to jump on that bandwagon. He has obvious talent, and the chops to go far, so you owe it to take a leaf from his book, and stay by his side.
Check out Trevor Douglas now!
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Thomas Burns Scully is a Popdust contributor, and also an award-winning actor, playwright, and musician. In his spare time he writes and designs escape rooms. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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