Exposé Online banner

Michael Trew — Waiting in the Wings
(Natural Cut, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-01-27

Waiting in the Wings Cover art

With the five Autumn Electric albums, Michael Trew developed a unique style of music that drew from folk rock and progressive rock with an artistic do-it-yourself attitude. But he always had some songs that didn’t fit in with the band’s material, and now he’s collected nine of them on Waiting in the Wings. The style here tips more to the folk rock side, though touches of prog still surface here and there. Acoustic guitar features as the backing in most of the songs, though piano is also used, and the arrangements are filled out by a wide variety of instruments, including strings, woodwinds, brass, bass, drums, percussion, and keyboards. Trew’s fragile voice provides the thread of continuity through the varying instrumentation, both alone and in combination with backing parts. Trew has a hand in all the writing except “Bright Lights Cold Hands,” either on his own (five tracks) or in collaboration with others (three tracks). While the overall impression favors gentle sounds, there are touches of rock on several songs, notably “I’m Your Television” with its tremolo guitar and proggy synthesizer, and “Vassagonia,” which features a great guitar solo from co-writer Dave Webb. Julie Baldridge plays violin on most of the tracks, providing a wonderful touch of life, and Lauren Trew’s bass clarinet is beautifully effective on three tracks. But in spite of the instrumentation, the music maintains an intimate feeling, more akin to chamber music than symphonic. It’s delicate but has muscles under the pretty surface. The lyrics are evocative, pulling from both folk-like storytelling and poetic imagery and never falling into the nostalgic trap of trying not to be contemporary. Waiting in the Wings is a fine album, a welcome reminder that the craft of songwriting is important and sorely lacking in so much current music.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Dave Webb, Michael Trew

More info
http://michaeltrew.bandcamp.com/releases

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tony Levin - Waters of Eden – Over the last half dozen years, King Crimson bassist Tony Levin has produced a small but impressive body of work on his own Papa Bear Records, including World Diary (1995), a collection of...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues