Recorded in Provo, Utah and Los Angeles, Pallid Boy & Spindling Girl is Drew Danburry’s 17th release. With preliminary recording completed in Utah, this full-time barber, part-time singer-songwriter, Danburry has created an EP that is short, sweet and surprisingly thought-provoking.
With a mild mellow depression, Danburry lulls us into the EP with “Mediocrity”. With its simple melody, it is like a lullaby. Along with its plod-along melody, the bridge is slightly uplifting and then explodes into the strangely subtle psychedelic cinematic section that is filled with the original band and additional voice and instruments creating a sense of madness. It quickly reverts to a simple guitar and voice. Listening to the music alone might just lull you asleep, that is until the lyrics hit you. This track a gentle existential exploration. It explores the madness of life and how crazy even thinking about it is and the practice of gratitude when it gets just too big to think about.
Following on from the life questioning mellow of “Mediocrity”, “1996” is short but bright and wonderful. With a pep in its step, it brings you to bright sunny and carefree days. The lyrics, however, are biting and pointed, with a lesson included. With a Bright Eyes-esque scream of impatience in the middle, this track is a perfect of example of Danburry’s ability to make music sound like expressions of emotion. His musical techniques convey both emotion and intent in a theatrical way that allows his music to be a little more human and raw.
That sense of uncovered-ness is brought forward to “Broken”. Introduced with a searing harmonica, “Broken” is sweetly sung. The meek vocal is kind and pleading, while the lyrics are measured and compromising. It could be a break-up song and a song professing enduring love all in one. With its gorgeous acoustic strumming behind Danburry’s voice, “Broken” sounds like utter heartbreak and personal strength, all rolled into one.
Pallid Boy & Spindling Girl is a tiny fraction of Danburry’s discography and it is worth going back to listen to his previous tracks to appreciate his work. He is a master songwriter, a human-emotion magician, who has a strong yet sympathetic grasp on the human condition, while also being honest about his lack of understanding of what makes us what we are. With his lulling tones and thought-provoking lyrics, Pallid Boy & Spindling Girl is a welcome addition to Danburry’s ever-expanding collection of art.