Leading with a fast riff, organic yet reverb-soaked and dreamlike in the same instance, Travis Shyn’s fresh take on contemporary hip hop and alternative pop grabs attention with ease.
The single Numb follows up an appealing, anticipation-filled intro, with a decidedly unique vocal tone and songwriting style. This is hinted at with the injection of the hook, but explored extensively during the verses, when things seem to venture off into freestyle-meets-Owl-City kind of territory.
Travis’ storytelling is incredibly personal, almost feeling like a stream of consciousness or a diary entry on occasion. That intimacy and willingness to be entirely himself is what will ultimately allow his music to connect on a deeply human level.
In particular, following the specific details from his life, the artist repeatedly resolves with an all familiar hook line that is I smoke so much to numb my pain. That line echoes through the ambiance, lingering with you long after listening, and likely appealing to the many out there who know exactly what this process feels like.
Coming in at under two and a half minutes, Numb is over and done with before you even know what happened – quite cleverly reflective of the song’s concept and the sudden hit of escapism. On second listen though, you catch a few more of those lyrics, and they fascinate.
‘Where do you go when you sleep?’ this infatuation, this depth and desire to know what the other half is dreaming about, is again immensely relatable, and yet it’s rarely talked about with such openness and vulnerability in modern music.
Throughout the song, Travis battles with his own obsession, his pain – talking of moving on, but continuously resolving and returning to that process of smoking, repeating, relieving the ache.
The style is loaded with individuality here, the vocal presentation and the effects, the undeniably personal lyricism, even the use of profound poetic references – Like a wild fire burning us down… There are more than a few qualities of originality to Travis Shyn’s work. It will be interesting to hear where else the music takes him in the near future.