Kevin Drew: Five Essential Albums

Kevin Drew (photo by Richard Briant, PR)
by Kara Manning | 01/19/2024 | 9:45am

Kevin Drew (photo by Richard Briant, PR)

As a frontman of Broken Social Scene, Kevin Drew swung through New York in late September 2023 as the band continued its 20th anniversary celebration of their galvanizing, Juno Award-winning 2002 album, You Forgot It in People.

But one of the finest releases of last year, which flew a bit under the radar, was Drew's stunning solo album, Aging, an elegiac slide into the rapid encroachment of time, as well as the grief wrapped around final farewells to family and friends. Despite that hoarfrost of melancholy, Drew takes off with gorgeous gallops throughout Aging, including "Out in the Fields" and "All Your Fails," with an eye toward appreciating life and love with abandon. All eight songs are rooted as piano ballads, but spiral into pensive anthems that interweave hope and regret as interchangeable, glittering threads.

Drew released a collection of instrumentals in 2021, called Influences, but Aging is his first solo release of songs with vocals in nearly a decade, since 2014's Darlings. He recorded Aging, out now on the label he cofounded, Arts & Crafts, at Tragically Hip's Bathouse Studio by Kingston, Ontario with frequent collaborator Nyles Spencer. It was originally meant to be a children's album — until things took a turn.

Anyone who has seen Drew's solo shows knows about the special intimacy, generosity, and humor he brings to his sets — and his current tour included two New York shows at Public Records on January 19 and January 20.

Ahead of both of those area gigs, Drew wrote about his "Five Essential Albums" for FUV, several of which reflect his own thoughts while contemplating Aging:

Dirty Three, Whatever You Love, You Are
To this day I still relish the messy simplicity of this complicated statement. The record is gold for the empathic failures who are on their way to making a comeback amongst the piles and piles of grief.

Slowdive, Slowdive
A record of meditation and grace. I wanna cry as I walk into the tomorrow of what really matters. Exceptional album.

Charlotte Cornfield, Shape Of Your Name
A record of honesty amongst being lost without any need to be guided in the right direction. Vulnerability with confidence. A talented force.

Grateful Dead, American Beauty
A classic. A perfect album. Ages like age itself. I love it. Makes me smile every time.

Bing & Ruth, Tomorrow Was the Golden Age
A lovely soundtrack for remorse and memory.

- Kevin Drew
January 2024

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