Review Summary: You're like a hangman who forgot his noose. Now you're left to think of a brilliant excuse as to why we won't be seeing the leading man. He's strung up like a rag doll. It's all your fault.
There’s no way around this, so I’ll just come out and point it out. In case you have not already noticed Aaron Trinkner and I share a last name.. Actually, I’m pretty sure we share some DNA as we are identical twins. But despite this seemingly insurmountable source of bias, I promise you I am reviewing this album as objectively as possible. I could go into great detail, and paint you a picture of our childhood and lives to point out the fact that, while we see eye to eye on many things, our taste in music is not overly similar. But I shall spare you that experience, as it will inevitably annoy you. With all of my bias and prejudice aside, Aaron Trinkner has managed to create an impressive debut with his EP And I’ll Tell You Again, I Never Left
Clocking in at just under 20 minutes, this four track release is almost over as soon as it starts, despite the first track taking over 8 minutes. (Including the minute or so of silence and a bonus track) But to say this release is too short to be given a serious listen would be quite frankly, unfair. Musically Aaron Trinkner takes a minimalistic approach, often times only employing guitar in his songs. As a solo artist, Trinkner is ultimately responsible for every instrument and vocal melody present and while there are admittedly few instruments found on this release (acoustic/electric guitar and an occasional keyboard) Trinkner implements second and third guitar parts suitably; there is always a perfect balance between instruments and the vocals. Songs such as Life Is Not a Privilege
and Fearless Goodbyes
highlight this minimalistic approach but also manage to include the coveted loud/soft dynamics without ever once sounding forced or awkward.
As with many independent solo releases, this debut EP focuses primarily on the vocal delivery and the lyrical content. There are without a doubt a few awkward moments to be found from time to time (I know that this can finally end with us finally holding each other’s hands in broad daylight
) but despite the occasional slip ups, Aaron Trinkner writes honest, emotional lyrics without ever coming off as pretentious or overtly immature. In these four brief songs topics such as father figures departing prematurely to failed friendships are covered with such conviction and emotion one would be surprised to learn the songwriter was under the age of 18. Lyrically, one has to look no further than the title track to understand Trinkner has a knack for portraying emotional concepts through metaphors and storytelling. Introspective lyrics are often hidden behind winding guitar lines and soaring vocal melodies on these four tracks, but I’ll Tell You Again, I Never Left
cuts out every instrument but an acoustic guitar, leading to a perfect way to introduce one to the album.
Every song, from the first four knocks on the opening track to the final notes of Life Is Not a Privilege is worthy of a listen. This album is by no means close to perfect; there are lamentable vocal deliveries once or twice, an awkward phrase every once and awhile, but the matter of the fact is that I’ll Tell You Again, I Never Left is a solid first showcase for this independent artist out of Appleton, Wisconsin. Every single song has moments that will without a doubt manage to captivate you. We Quit has one of the catchiest verses I have heard in recent memory while Life Is Not a Privilege has interesting guitar play and tradeoffs. Both Fearless Goodbyes and And I’ll Tell You Again, I Never Left employ powerful dynamics, heartfelt lyrics and three part vocal harmonies. An above average debut, And I’ll Tell You Again, I Never Let is an enjoyable listen from beginning to end, and will without a doubt manage to create some buzz around this young singer/songwriter.
I’ll wait by the ocean for you. Call me, I’ll call out your name. The waves they crash with response. They say ‘we took him but we’re not to blame.’