Dru Cutler has just released his newly – renowned extended play ‘Oceanside’ that has infiltrated the independent music scene with premeditated vigor.
The warm tonality of the microphone is seared with dynamic saturated harmonics through a tube-like amplified sound that provides a significant low-end of magnified robustness that compliments Cutler’s unprecedented vocals. The poeticism within the lyrical and endowed songwriting constituencies merge into a full-fledged ensemble of wordplay that is both elaborate and intricate in design.
The creatively constructed dialogue between both realms of instrumentation meshed with emotive poeticism constructs a fascinating dynamic that is original to this artist’s musical aptitude and professional status. He utilizes his melodic singing voice to orchestrate a performance artisan that blends intrinsically with the overall ambience of the innovative music’s foundation.
Furthermore, the primary vocals are held in front of the mix expanding upon the transient-ridden nature of the recording fortitude that nourishes the track’s gentle fauna. The delayed effects elongate the rhythm sections while providing ample distortion that gives it a nice gritty texture to counter the shiny reverb sections. The ambient soundscapes encapsulate the essence of the music with a veil of luster that resonates each portion in a collective cohesiveness.
In conclusion, Cutler raises the bar on his latest EP and this is a merely a testament of what exciting projects are to come in the near future.
For Dru Cutler, one of the great revelations in making the leap from jack of all musical trades (film composer, jingle writer, cover band singer) to full-fledged recording artist was learning something remarkable about his voice: he’s a baritone who sings in the same register as the late great Leonard Cohen. Cutler says, “Your voice is your first instrument. You have to learn how to tell a story with it.”
Reflecting on the intense sea change in America’s social and political systems, the Brooklyn based singer/songwriter and rocker – who has been described as “Ryan Adams meets Pink Floyd” – was immediately drawn to Cohen’s poetic classic “Dance Me To the End of Love.” Cutler’s re-imagining turns Cohen’s waltz into “a more modern dancehall piece, dirtier in the club while doing shots of whiskey.”
The track is one of two on the special EP preview of the multi-talented artist’s upcoming full length album Bring Closer the Distance, whose slate of compelling originals includes the other song on the EP, the hypnotically percussive mystical rocker “Oceanside.” Its musical intensity provides the foundation for musings about the solace that mother nature provides him during times of intense tribulation. Reflecting on both personal and universal issues, Cutler sings:
There’s a wave in my heart and it’s saying goodbye
I don’t care if it’s broken. . . I need the waves of the ocean
Some kinda feeling
The Tampa native brings a fascinating musical history to his emergence as a solo artist. Influenced by punk rock bands like NOFX and Lagwagon, he formed his first band when he was 14. He went on to play with several bands in the Tampa area before going on to earn his degree in Music Composition at the University of South Florida and studying songwriting at the Berklee College of Music.
After moving to Brooklyn NY, Cutler co-founded a collective music space called Unit J. It’s a giant warehouse that’s been converted into a venue. They started off as six folks with five couches, but they’ve grown into a thriving collective that has showcased for Brooklyn’s Northside Festival, the Florida Music Festival and traveled twice to SXSW. Just last year, they were nominated for “Best live music venue in Brooklyn” by Brokelyn.com
Cutler has performed at a wide range of venues including Pianos, Rockwood Music Hall, Glasslands, Spike Hill, The Living Room and even Avery Fisher Hall. He often plays songs in a live setting before he tracks them in the studio. “You have to put a song in front of a crowd to see if it ,works. Not so much lyrics, but the vibe.”
Cutler explains that there is a great thematic difference between his 2016 debut album Familiar and the new record: “The songwriting on the first album was obsessed with nostalgia and memories. Bring Closer The Distance is more about me trying to reach out to the people who have been in my life. It’s telling more personal stories. Here, I’m sharing ones about my father (“text message from my father”), who suffers from severe bipolar disorder and my stepmom “Judy,” who disappeared from my life mysteriously at age 21. Other songs are less specific, but all of them share deep feelings about people in my life. I really wanted this record to have a certain vulnerability.”
The other major shift is in Cutler’s production approach, from the low budget isolation of doing everything himself to recording live with his longtime band under the guidance of a veteran producer (Kahan James) and mixing engineer (Andy Taub who worked with Kieth Richards, Ani DeFranco) at a pro studio.
As the singer says, “I was leveraging the talents of professionals who have been doing it for 30 years. It was refreshing to play music in the studio the way I do when I perform live. This album is the most fun and focused project I’ve ever done, and reflects huge growth for me as an artist.”