The expression about cream rising to the top holds true here and doesn’t smack of cliché. Trevor Drury’s “I Know You From the 70’s” deserves every bit of the mainstream attention it has so far garnered as a supreme example of the stylistic prowess modern music can still manifest in the right hands. Drury’s surprising depth of life experience for someone so young transforms his songwriting in unexpectedly glorious ways and his musical dexterity frames the song’s story in such a fashion that it’s all but impossible to not be drawn in by its power. There’s something of California sophistication he envelops his performance with, but it isn’t hollow posturing – instead, “I Know You From the 70’s” has extraordinary range and mood shifts coming from a place of true artistry and guided by a confident performer who, seemingly, has sprung full born onto the scene.
His vision for the song is concise. Drury instinctively knows how to engage his listeners in such a way that, like him, they are hanging with every word and musical change in an untaxed way. This allows listeners a chance to truly sink their teeth into the track on every level rather than finding their focus fixed on particular elements of the tune. The emotional force that Drury brings to the words never obscures the lush, slightly downcast reflective tone of the music – it accentuates it, instead, and hovers close to the listener with unmanufactured intimacy. Music such as this is often rightly decried as arbitrary, plotted out, overly constructed, but the clear thought that has gone into the song’s direction suggests something different. It feels natural, organic, and a momentary glimpse into a particular corner of Drury’s soul.
His songwriting acumen understands the gossamer relationship between instruments and how the delicate balance can be either enhanced or else undermined by a lack of taste. There’s no better example of this heard than the interplay sparked by the percussion and melody. The former allows Drury’s voice to roam free and make whatever use of the melodic strengths his ear and heart desires. It also fires up the surprisingly theatrical qualities of his singing while never allowing that light to burn too gaudily. He delivers the song with tremendous brio and charisma while never succumbing to those moments in pop songs where the singer seems to be braying, oh please, oh please, look at me, listen to me.
This is the sort of magic that’s not easily duplicated, but there’s something about this song’s merits that suggests Trevor Drury will produce a wealth of material its equal or greater/ “I Know You From the 70’s” invokes a particular time with great success but, ultimately, it may prove that Drury’s talents are its most timeless quality. We are exceedingly fortunate to have ssuch powerfully involving performers striding across the modern landscape and it’s certain his skills have transformative elements transcending simple labels like “pop song”.