Troy Petty is a guy I met at a networking event nearly a year ago. CSA founder Joey Hendrickson told me this was a guy worth knowing. Fast forward a few months to SXSW, where I saw him perform with a full band for the first time, and this notion was confirmed in my mind.
Troy Petty blends dream pop with an adult contemporary singer songwriter sound into his music. This is experimental (and experiential) songwriting meant to get the more old school crowd to expand their listening palette, yet accessible enough for both the mainstream and alternative crowds. The EP Departure expertly blends the abstract with pure passion. Simultaneously raw, personal and out of the box.
“The world, the world, the world is calling you!” Petty cries in earnest on the title track. It is as if we are being beckoned toward adventure, but not in the cheerful way you might expect a “call to action” song to sound. By taking this tone, Petty expresses his message in a way that isn’t contrived. “Motor Mind” is a interesting track about having a the problem of a disquieting inner dialogue – or more simply, being an over thinker. The song seems to act as both a rant and a method of catharsis for Petty. Album opener “All Ghosts” might be my favorite moment of the album, as it sets the tone with a driving crescendo that builds into a strong, but not obnoxiously loud rhythm. “Set Me Free” is one of the more straightforward of the EP, while “Unfinished” might be the most movement worthy of the EP. But the music is still so pensive that it’s hard to gauge exactly how the audience at a live show might react. Being transfixed would be perfectly acceptable reaction as well, I surmise.
Troy Petty is hitting the scene hard, and his performance at SXSW seemed to be evidence that people are responding positively to his campaign. People walked in from the busy 6th street and stayed inside the bar! People who hadn’t heard of him signed their names on the email list on stage following his performance as well.
Departure is worth a listen, having created an interesting hybrid of sounds in the singer songwriter genre I haven’t heard before. Fall is approaching, and I daresay this EP is a good soundtrack to this season.