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Kevin Drew Releases Video For You In You Were

Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene released his second solo album entitled Darlings earlier this year through City Slang and yesterday he debuted a brand new music video for You In Your Were along with European tour dates.

The video features comedian (or, in this case, music video expert and choreographer extraordinaire) Zach Galifianakis as well as fellow Broken Social Scene member and indie heroine Feist.

Kevin Drew forthcoming tour dates:
June 7: Field Trip Arts & Music Festival / Toronto, ON
June 8: Field Trip Arts & Music Festival w/ Broken Social Scene / Toronto, ON
June 10: The Music Of Daniel Lanois at Massey Hall / Toronto, ON
June 28: The Club Theatre Complex / Banff Centre
July 22: Mac Hall / Calgary AB*
July 24: Shaw Conference Center /  Edmonton, AB*
July 25: Conexus Art Center / Regina SK*
July 26: O’Brian’s Event Center / Saskatoon SK*
July 27: Burton Cummings Theater / Winnipeg, MT*
July 31: London Music Hall / London, ON*
Aug 2: Osheaga Festival / Montreal, QC
Aug 9: Squamish Festival / Squamish, BC
Aug 12: Bitterzoet / Amsterdam, Netherlands
Aug 13: Postbahnhof / Berlin, Germany
Aug 15: Festival Im Fluss / Basel, Switzerland
Aug 16: Frequency Festival / St. Polten, Austria
Aug 18: XOYO / London, UK
Aug 18/23: Arboretum Festival / Ottawa, ON
* with Modest Mouse

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Kevin Drew’s New Album, Darlings, And New Single, Body Butter, Are Out Now

Broken Social Scene’s front man Kevin Drew released his new solo album, Darlings, through City Slang in Europe  and Arts & Crafts in the US earlier this week.

Kevin Drew

Kevin Drew

Featuring such titles as Good Sex, Bullsh*t Ballad and Body Butter, it’s a delightfully wry offering which, among moments of the amusingly absurd and intentionally dry-witted, never fails to provide the listener with great hooks and stellar melodies.

Speaking of Body Butter, Drew also caused much amusement online late last week when he announced that, to accompany the song, he has turned his name to a real-life Tequila Lime flavoured body butter, available from Toronto skin care company Wildrose Magnolia. You can watch the infomercial featuring Drew’s new single, Body Butter, here.

The full album Darlings is online to stream and share now here.

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Kevin Drew – Darlings Album Review

Stepping out from under the Broken Social Scene Presents moniker that marked his first solo record, Darlings finds Kevin Drew striking out more or less on his own while still maintaining some of the hallmarks of the bands original sound. If the sometimes seventeen member’s strong group could ever be described as having a front man then Drew would fit the bill, his powerful lyrical style, taking in everything from politics and society to the seedier aspects of human sexuality, featuring on the majority of the bands tracks, even if he’s not always the one singing them.

Whereas his first semi-solo outing Spirit If retained Broken Social Scenes vibe of a group of friends jamming out in the garage, this is a much more focused effort that aims to showcase Drew’s more intimate, stripped down songs.

Kevin Drew

Kevin Drew

Darling’s is a very slickly produced, synthesiser heavy record that nonetheless still showcases Drew’s raw emotional style. However for a lot of the record you can’t help but miss the diversity and variety of styles that features on Broke Social Scenes best records. Quiet to loud slow burning ballads featuring explicit lyrics on drugs and sex are alright when there’s a couple of them smattered across a record, however when you’ve got nearly eleven of them sequenced back to back it doesn’t hold up quite so well.

Drew’s always been fond of a controversial lyric; “Children sleep with dicks” and “I swore I’d drink your piss last night to see if I could live” spring to mind. However across this record the lines feel less like a piece of edgy poetry or a sexy come on and more like a mischievous eight year old that’s just learned a new rude word.

On album opener Body Butter Drew coos “Get the body butter baby lets go party all alone” and “We’ll take the huddle with the seamen”. Despite the tracks gorgeous aching synths and smooth guitar work the songs topic can’t help but make your stomach turn. This same problem occurs over following track Good Sex, again very strong musically and sounding like a natural successor to Spirit If’s TBF (Too Beautiful To Fuck), it’s one of the records most  accessible and upbeat offerings but with lyrics like “Good sex it never makes you feel clean”, you start to hope the subject matters going to change.

It’s Cool is one of darlings strongest cuts and shows how effective Drew can be when he calms down for a minute and rights a warm piece of chilled out indie electronica. The track features great programmed drums, melodic guitar and bass lines and soothing back ground synths that start to sound reminiscent of the string sections on some of Broken Social Scenes most beautiful chamber songs.

It’s Cool’s strengths aren’t really repeated till later on in the record until My God comes in with more of the strong programmed beats and synthesiser parts that almost sound like the work of some lost great ambient producer. “I’ve got a river filled with dollars that connects to the words in my gut” showing that Drew’s still capable of writing a strong lyric. In between those two however are numerous production heavy clunky songs that wouldn’t even of made it onto BSS’s below average Forgiveness Rock Record.  Mexican After Show Party and Bullshit Ballad feel like rushed off simple numbers that survive purely on one tossed off lyrical hook apiece.

Drew’s former band mate Leslie Feist shows up to add some much needed diversity on You in You Were, one of the records strongest tracks which gets to show how well Drew and Feist’s voices work together. Their voices float over rhythmic, borderline jazz, live drums and chunky keyboard and synthesiser parts. The two sing together, “Its the way the you were” harking back to a time when they played on stage together each night, wrote music together and even shared the same bed.

You Got Caught goes back to earlier tracks trends of repeating a phrase over and over again until you’re ever so slightly confused of its meaning, except that it’s probably supposed to imply something about promiscuous sexual activity. The record ends with And That’s All I Know, another highlight featuring the records strengths; pianos, electronic rhythms and studious bass lines working in harmony while Drew sings more ambiguous yet strangely effecting lyrics and bashes out some synthesiser riffs reminiscent of Sega’s best computer game soundtracks.

All in all Darlings is not a bad record and you very much get the feeling that its creator was successful in accomplishing what he set out to do. However what made Broken Social Scenes’ best record and indeed his last solo outing so effective was this feeling of communal song writing and collaboration, the diversity in styles, genres and singers. On their best effort such as you You Forgot It In People, one minute you’re listing to distorted 90’s college rock, the next minute a whispered acoustic ballad and then some near ambient instrumental post rock. Newcomers to Drew’s music will enjoy this record a lot more than the fans used to such high standards. That being said however if Lovers Spit, Safety Bricks and World Sick were always your favourite songs, you’ll find a lot to love here.

By Josh Bennett

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Kevin Drew Reveals NSFW Video For New Single, Good Sex

As a sexy Valentine’s Day treat last weekend, Kevin Drew – co-founder, songwriter and front man of Broken Social Scene– released a steamy and admittedly NSFW video for new single Good Sex, the first track off of his upcoming solo album entitled Darlings (out March 24 via City Slang).

Drew piqued our interest at the end of 2013 when he posted the news of a casting call for real couples ready to engage in “passionate and intimate sexual moments” while in “various states of undress” on-camera. Couples came out to participate and the final product was directed by Samir Rehem and produced by LaRue Entertainment.

Earlier this week, Drew also revealed a remix of the track by longtime BSS producer and collaborator Dave Newfeld.

Darlings shows Drew growing from his role in indie vanguard Broken Social Scene to create a breakthrough statement of personal artistry. Darlings is also his first solo album that is truly, to put it bluntly, solo. If Drew’s 2007 effort Spirit If… was his inaugural step beyond the decade-long shadow of his former band, Darlings spotlights Drew with seven years more experience and maturity. Darlings reveals a more focused and refined sound; more honest, revelatory songwriting with Drew’s craft concentrated on lyrical and emotional connections, less so than guitar pedals and studio jams.

This isn’t to say these aren’t classic Kevin Drew songs. His unorthodox lyrical explorations of family, hope and disappointment, skin and spit, intercourse, cultural infection and the death of communication, figure clearer than ever into the hallmark of his infectious melodic phrasing. Darlings is a fist-pumping fight for the euphoria of the after-party and the crush of pre-dawn passions. It’s a best friend’s zealous pep talk to not give up and bring youth back into the fresh focus of life. On Darlings, Kevin Drew casts reflective inspiration forward into the brightness of the future with a soundtrack to kick everything into high gear.

Darlings features longtime collaborators Charles Spearin and Ohad Benchetrit (Do Make Say Think, Broken Social Scene) along with Dean Stone (Apostle of Hustle) and Dave Hamelin (The Stills). Darlings was co-produced by Dave Hamelin, Kevin Drew and Graham Lessard.

 

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