Trevor Douglas returns with his brand new six-track EP this month, and it’s a beauty. Pressure is a gorgeous song, organic and familiar in a comforting way, but unique in subject matter – appealing on a deeper, thoughtful, relatable level – and the perfect representation of Douglas’ soulful voice and artistic style. Things continue to impress and embrace as the project continues.
Where the opener begins with a simple acoustic guitar sound and plenty of space, Problems follows and kicks in with a higher pace and an immediate sense of intensity and anticipation. Douglas builds on this throughout and offers a powerful vocal melody and a hook that feels fit to share the stage with the likes of Timberlake or any of the great folk-pop crossovers of recent years. The build-up and production within this song is beautiful, intense conceptually but uplifting and energizing from a musical perspective. An addictive moment and a definite early highlight.
Take This Back lightens the mood a little and leans in something of a retro eighties direction with the short bursts of synths and the rhythm. It works well after the intensity of before, yet still the lyrics see Douglas pour his personal truth – turmoil and all – into the process. His unwavering honesty is refreshing, particularly among such a unique fusion of organic and electronic pop elements. The sound is relevant and classic all at once, and his voice and his ideas seem perfectly catered to today’s world.
The stunning emotional hit that is Stay By Your Side marks another change in mood, Douglas places himself in a more vulnerable position, beginning with raw acoustic soul and progressing to present a more full and again uplifting sound that suits the concept pretty perfectly. A personal favourite and an easily recognisable, gorgeously well written song.
Hold Me softens things further, a simple click and an almost whispered, distinctly intimate vocal delivery introduces the track. Things build again in a rhythmically seductive way – it’s subtle but effective, and once more this feels like a missed hit from a fair while ago (Trevor Douglas often showcases a somewhat vintage RnB sound within his vocal style). The gentleness and the simplicity of a straight-to-the-point love song works well at this penultimate moment.
The EP comes to a close with a song called Dandelions. Acoustic guitar picking and some distant vocal harmonies pave the way for a gorgeously natural folk outpouring that would be a joy to witness in real-time. Trevor Douglas is able to meet the requirements of the moment in just about any setting – whether it’s a full-on pop or near-dance track, or something much more stripped back and intimate. This piece progresses with a folk-pop groove and an entrancing melody, later evolving to present a few last hits of soul and power as Douglas puts in a flawless vocal performance to finish things up on a high.
This project has been built with care, creativity, and professionalism, all perfectly balanced and enhanced by one another. An easy must for fans of modern, heartfelt pop and folk-pop.