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Monday, January 31, 2011

Trent Hancock – Ghostbird [EP]

Trent Hancock – Ghostbird [EP]
2010, Trent Hancock
Trent Hancock picked up his life in San Diego and moved to Brooklyn after an inspirational tour through New York City.  Late of the musical duo Ghostbird, Hancock became enamored with the singer/songwriter scene in New York, and chose a new direction for himself musically.  His work caught the attention of producers of Mikal Blue and Andrew Williams (Colbie Callait/Five For Fighting), who invited him back to the west coast to develop the sound.  The resulting EP, also entitled Ghostbird, shows off Hancock’s new sound.
Hancock sets off on a bland pop note with “Falling Faster”.  The song has an A/C friendly sound; airy but a bit too much like too many other things on pop radio to stand out.  “Me And You” is a step in the right direction, showing off a winning melody and Hancock’s exceedingly pleasant voice.  This is mildly catchy pop music with commercial legs.  “Lost My Way” is solid, easy-listening pop music about getting caught in a bad romance.  This one isn’t going to climb charts, but would sit very nicely as an ad-in on a TV or movie soundtrack.  “Strong Hands” explores his own inability to protect someone who has been physically abused.  He talks about the things he’s done to try to help but she just shies away.  The low key musical approach here is perfect.  “Zale” is a sonically appealing creation full of outstanding guitar work and brilliant vocal harmonies.  Hancock closes off Ghostbird with the title track.  “Ghostbird” sounds like a grand musical theme; wanting to be bigger than it is.  There is a lonely beauty to this song that creeps on you and stays around long after the final note has sounded.
Trent Hancock takes an ambitious pop turn on Ghostbird.  The EP starts slow, but builds in beauty and complexity as it progresses.  Trent Hancock certainly seems to be onto something here, possessing a delightful pop sensibility delivered in low key arrangements that mine beauty from everyday observations cast in varying tones of light.  Ghostbird won’t overwhelm you on the first listen, but with each successive spin, Trent Hancock draws you in a little further.  This is definitely an EP worth spending some time with.
Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about Trent Hancock at or  Ghostbird [EP] is available as a CD through Trent Hancock's webstore.  If digital is your thing, the album is also available via iTunes.

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