When you hear the name Kurt Travis most people will think of his work within the post-hardcore genre. Once the vocalist for Dance Gavin Dance, Travis has progressed on to his solo project and also joined as co-vocalist for A Lot Like Birds. Now he’s finally able to flex his solo muscles with his debut, ‘Everything Is Beautiful’, which brilliantly features guitar by Zach Garren (Strawberry Girls) and drums by Joe Arrington (A Lot Like Birds).
Admittedly, Travis‘ vocal range is the least striking of all DGD‘s vocalists past and present. However, with ‘Everything Is Beautiful’, his voice meshes well with the tracks he produces. The record is infectious and his style is simplistic, and doesn’t necessarily rely on intricate and diverse technique. With the album’s title-track opening proceedings, it grabs the listener with an ambient approach and simplistic virtue. The following ‘Too Loud/Too Cloud’ has a genuine alt rock/americana vibe to it; the lyrics are simple but it remains possibly as one of the catchiest on the album.
On the note of easy listening, it’s obvious as a whole that ‘Everything Is Beautiful’ is an easy ride to the ears and mind, although that’s not to say that musically we don’t get a bit of everything. ‘Desperate’ holds a similar funky vibe, dishing out catchy rifts contrasting relaxed vocals. Comparatively, ‘It’s All Over’ produces a hypnotic style, with melancholic guitar riffs juxtaposing pensive words over vocal layering.
It’s with ‘Casting’ where fans can hear echoes of Travis‘ work in with both DGD and ALLB, as his bandmate from the latter of the two Cory Lockwood makes an appearance. This is a definite highlight, employing captivating beats and vocal power that’s out to entertain. ‘Everything Is Horrible’ has an instantly poppy approach, rife with percussion and acoustic guitar. Travis‘ voice is the main focus in this song telling of the classic woes of lovers, and agrees universally when it comes to romantic strife. All is definitely horrible.
Ultimately, Travis‘ solo efforts may not appeal to some, but to others ‘Everything Is Beautiful’ will be appreciated as a catchy and entertaining LP. It produces track after track of infectious melodies, but the only downfall would be that his lyrical substance doesn’t quite compare to that found in his work with Dance Gavin Dance or A Lot Like Birds, nor does his voice resemble the power or distinction. But, if you’re new to Kurt Travis and come with an unbiased outlook, ‘Everything Is Beautiful’ should keep you hooked and interested to see what unforgettable work he manages to produce next.
Written by Kella Colton
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.