COMING at you out of Missoula, Montana, after a long period creating in Utah, Drew Danburry – who debuted in the world of music with 2005’s brilliantly, almost David Foster Wallace-entitled album, Besides: Are We Just Playing Around Out Here, Or Do We Mean What We Say? has emerged from a retreat, dealing with his own mental health, from which he has emerged with an unsatiated will to create and communicate.
And one listen to the song “Zero One, for Will Sartain”, and its accompanying short film, an animation hand-drawn by Drew himself and assembled from more than 400 stills illustrating themes of cyclical failure, rebirth and the illusion of linear time, and you’ll sure be glad Drew can bring these creations forth for us.
The video’s sweet primitivism marches alongside a beautiful slice of yearning US indie guitar melodicism; some reviewers point at Damien Jurado, but I’m really hearing East River Pipe as well in that breathy yearning and classic simplicity.
And have you ever heard anyone sing “And I don’t wanna be there / With your fake-ass family” with such seductive warmth?
It’s the lead track for Drew’s new Icarus Phoenix project for Telos Tapes which, he says, “is an experiment in creating tangible items of worth in the constant ephemera of the internet and in the wake of the supposed death of the album.
It seeks to promote “the ritual of putting a cassette into a tape deck and hitting ‘play’… as an act of commitment”.
Icarus Phoenix, the self-titled, cassette-only album, is “packed full of proper nouns and names of friends and family: the aural equivalent of carving someone’s name in a tree with a heart around it.
Tapes will be here long here long after we will and it’s nice to have your name on things,” he says.
The name, of course, refers to the cyclical nature of life; the rise, the fall, the rise again – Drew rejects wholeheartedly the concept of linear time.
It contains 40 tracks: the result of a deep journey into self-awareness and the product of that journey. Perhaps he has a British mirror in the shape of Daniel Blumberg, out there fashioning acoustic song exactly as he wishes it to be.
On the strength of “Zero One, For Will Sartain”, that cassette sure holds a whole lotta beauty: you can place an order at Telos Tapes, here.