If James Brown was the king of soul, Kevin Drew would be the king of whisper. That soft, delicate singing style of his is one that isn’t often matched. We got a taste for it with Broken Social Scene, but here we get to experience it in its entirety. Even when his music does enter more lively territory, it seems to maintain a calm atmosphere. It’s hard to say whether he plays a key role in shaping the BSS sound or whether they just played a major part in this album (probably both), but either way, plenty of parallels can be heard between the two. I was a bit sceptical of the whole ‘BBS presents…’ approach, wondering whether it was just an attempt to sell more records, but after hearing this album, the first in that series, it actually makes sense. The BSS sound is incredibly diverse, while this album seems to focus in on a few particular aspects of that sound. That’s to say it’s narrow in any way, just that as a side album, it serves its purpose quite well. And this isn’t just a quickly thrown together side project either. Running in at over an hour, it has an incredible amount of depth to it. A couple of times I’ve been listening to it and discovered I had progressed only a few songs, despite feeling like a I had passed through a good 6 or 7 songs. It says a lot for the music you’ll be hearing on this album. It may not beat the frontline BSS albums, but ‘Spirit If…’ delivers everything I hoped for from Kevin Drew and I’ll definitely be coming back to it.
TBTF – This was the first song I heard off this album and it probably remains a favourite. I know I waffle on, calling every band I write about amazing, but there’s something special about this song. It goes back to the whispering I mentioned earlier, which allows him to create music that I’d go so far as to describe it as beautiful.
Lucky Ones – This one is at the opposite end of the spectrum. It is energetic, powerful and builds quite a nice momentum.