The elusive mastermind behind Beyoncé’s ‘Pray You Catch Me’, the leading single from the album Lemonade, Kevin Garrett may just be one of the industry’s best kept secrets.
Peeping out from behind the curtain of mystery, the singer-songwriter gifts fans with the enrapturing debut Album ‘Hoax’.
Sprinkled with ignant remarks, Garrett’s R&B infused indie melodies take a more mature tone than his previous work.
What can you expect from the album?
Deviating ever so slightly from his usual formula with addition of strings and guitar, ‘Hoax’ projects far more tainted emotions, arguably undergirded by an ounce of cynicism as suggested by its title. The singer takes listeners on an impassioned rollercoaster that screams “she’s just not that into you”
Production wise Garrett remained in familiar territory offering a range of acoustic inspired sounds, and beautiful piano arrangements accented by the best of the classics as seen with the dazzling flute on ‘Love you less’.
Perhaps unsurprisingly Garrett’s crown jewel on ‘Hoax’ was his lyrical mastery.
The project was vulnerable yet shrouded in mystery. Like a jigsaw where the final piece is always missing. You know what the picture is of but there’s a fundemental part stopping you from putting everything together.
That is the beauty of Garrett’s artistry as a songwriter. Irrespective of the vivid imagery he creates with his words there’s always just enough mystery to allow listeners to form their own interpretations.
It’s what makes his music so relatable. Just enough room is left between the lines of each melody to breath your own narrative into its scores.
There is a striking juxtaposition between two contrasting emotions of frustration and hope throughout ‘Hoax’.
This was best exmpelfied on tracks like ‘Faith You Might’. The song which explores the idea of acceptance after a breakup, is melodically quite cheerful but it’s lyrics reflect feelings of regret. It features a staccato guitar layered across sweeping strings and a harmonious bridge.
Similarly the melancholic undertones surrounding ‘Warn‘ & ‘Just Because‘ were equally haunting, remecincent of a conflicted soul, trapped by his own futile desires.
How’s that for starting off on the wrong foot!
The most impressive sonic portrayal of emotion was seen on ‘Running From.’
The stabs in piano melody an accurate representation of uncertainty and disjointed thoughts, in stark melodic contrast to the strings depicting an almost consuming sense of confusion.
The icing on the cake was how incredibly human this project felt. ‘Don’t Bother Me At All’ was a prime example of this. The song conveyed the harsh realities of pretending to move on, when it’s clear that you haven’t, anyone else been there?
Slowing the tempo, Garret strips it right back leaving the instrumention on the track hollow with just a simple piano. Offering listeners a chance to reflect, the singer bares his soul amidst the soft accent of synths almost like a shadow.
While each track offered something unique my personal favourite would have to be ‘Title Track’
Garrett’s witty brilliance is best showcased in words left unsaid, plucking at the heartstrings. Poignantly titled the song is a symbol of a difficult truths fortified in crescendo of emotion.
High quality production, a multitude of sounds and self-reflective lyricism. I knew from the very first listen that I would fall in love with this album.
Garrett eloquently voices the feelings that many have but fail to articulate. Peeling back the layers of cynicism and emotional turbulence, somewhere beneath the angsts is a true masterpiece of vulnerability.
In fact I’d even push the boat out and say, for those still sleeping on Kevin Garrett after this album, the joke really will be on you.