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

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Amon Düül II - Eternal Flashback – By now everyone should know that these classic German space rockers have reformed after about a twelve year hiatus. Last year's Nada Moonshine #, while not quite up to the standards set by their early...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues