So rarely does an instrumental album come along that is so good that I, too, am stunned into silence.
But Treyverb (known to most as Trey McManus) did just that with his debut, A Year Without Words. In fact, I was so drawn into the album, that I didn’t even notice it was an instrumental record until three-quarters of the way through.
It opens with “Jesus Overdrive,” a track that could be described as a punchy acoustic sound if it weren’t for the introspective ambient hum. The multi-layered song sinks into an electric haze at points, which mixes surprisingly well with the simple, twangy keys.
You swim smoothly into “Twin Velvet” next. It almost sounds like a variation of “Jesus Overdrive,” and maybe that’s the point. This second song, however, features more of the distorted and echoey electric guitar, with the bass lines taking on a steadying, driving role. Simple and soothing, “Twin Velvet” is also one of the most melodic tracks on the four-song album.
Next up is “Opus 72.” It moves slowly, with echoey punches taking you along for a wavy ride. Strangely serene, the song layers on forceful strings that fade into the distance before a sure electric riff takes over and dives into the ether.
Finally, we have “Sunset Stripe,” which also opens with quiet keys that echo and deepen into an electric monologue. As if carrying you into a sunset, the song deepens and blossoms with an electric guitar, and sparing drums. It’s the perfect end to a beautiful album.