This two track taster of a future project from Dru Cutler crams a lot of energy and colour into a fairly short lived audio experience. Oceanside is a song that is both delicate and intense, offering the weight of indie-rock alongside a much softer, folk-like, acoustic ambiance. Dru’s voice as well, it veers back and forth between the weighty and the light, on occasion whispering to you, at other times delivering the ideas with absolute passion and power. This unusual meeting of instrumental elements backs up and enhances his personal vocal style really well. This particular song has a fairly high energy for the most part, but it doesn’t hit too heavily – there is a consistent feeling of emotional presence, that it means something to the artist, lyrically and conceptually, rather than merely being a musical means of entertaining.
Having heard Dru’s Music on a few occasions, it’s always a pleasure to listen to something new from the artist and songwriter. The added blessing in this case is that the release comes with the inclusion of a classic Leonard Cohen song, Dance Me To The End Of Love. From the offset, it’s a simple pleasure to hear a Leonard Cohen cover that isn’t Hallelujah. For such a spellbinding songwriter and performer it’s a wonder his catalogue isn’t much more commonly represented by original artists. Dru Cutler’s take on this particular song is wonderful. The song itself is stunning, and this fresh, crisp approach to it offers a seductive smoothness and style that effectively reignite the passion and loyalty of the original.
Dru Cutler’s voice sounds notably different on a softly swing or jazz-led piece of music than it does in a much more multi-layered, indie-rock setting. It works well in both instances, which is quite rare, though personally this second, spacious encounter really lays bare the skill and intricacies of his sound and performance style. There’s an intimacy to it that fuses with a subtle sort of power – quietly being loud, drawing you into the centre of the song and its sentiment without you even realizing you’ve been swept away. The rhythm and ongoing melody of the piece surround you quite hypnotically, closing you off to the noise and busyness of the outside world, making the experience entirely about the here and now – the music, your connection to it, your feelings regarding the concept. It’s a really enjoyable version and it showcases another side to the artist’s abilities and musical preferences. His versatility is unquestionable and I look forward to hearing a full length album in the near future.
“Your voice is your first instrument. You have to learn how to tell a story with it.” – Dru Cutler.