Kevin Drew

Darlings (Arts & Crafts)

Rating: NNN

Broken Social Scene’s ongoing hiatus hasn’t stifled its members’ creativity, most notably that of co-founder Kevin Drew.

On his 2007 solo debut Spirit If…, Drew was still backed by BSS, and the ramshackle vibe recalled the band’s 2005 self-titled release. Darlings, on the other hand, showcases the singer’s intensely personal and sexual poetry. Never the subtlest of lyricists, he’s showing a new vulnerability in his songwriting.

Drew repeats his mantras amidst languid slices of comforting pop that’s well suited to the pre-dawn hours. The airy, almost Bono-like You Gotta Feel It features Drew’s playful marimba but never strays into a festering jam, as many BSS songs are wont to do. Most tunes, in fact – like the hopeful acoustic opener Body Butter – are concise and to the point. A few verses drag out too long, but Drew’s storytelling remains firmly in the foreground.

Top track: Bullshit Ballad

Kevin Drew plays Field Trip June 7.

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