Never Shout Never Black Cat on LP + Download
Youth, as they say, is wasted on the young. Christofer Drew kindly refutes that conceit. At the ripe age of 24, Drew and his band Never Shout Never are on the cusp of releasing their seventh full-length album and a pair of EP’s. A songwriter to be reckoned with since he was 16, Drew’s trajectory as a lyricist and tunesmith only rises, evolving steadily with each new release, as does his empire of fans. Tackling heavy subjects like truth, love, loss, and acceptance, he has developed a genuine talent for exploring the human condition from a place of positivity. And with the 10 crack cuts collected here on Black Cat, it’s not a stretch to label Drew a master of his craft, despite the fact that he still can’t legally rent a car.
The concept of the black cat is akin to that of the black sheep, a role Drew embodied as a creative youth with wild hair and tattoos coming of age both in tiny Joplin, Missouri, and then around the world with Never Shout Never. But here, the black cat learns to accept its differences and embrace its unique place in the universe, and thrives. Drew began writing these songs in 2013, and brought an arsenal of tunes with him to the studio in 2014. Working over several months with producer Dennis Herring (Elvis Costello, Modest Mouse, The Hives) and the band in Los Angeles, two things happened that were Never Shout firsts: Drew welcomed both the band and Herring to write with him, and he embraced a pre-production process which helped them to shape and mold the songs before recording. Both practices proved inspirational and vital to the full, epic sound of Black Cat.
Drew also credits the diverse landscape and neighborhoods of Los Angeles in addition to its wealth of sunshine and healthy living as props to his positive mindset while recording. That attitude is apparent from the instant the standout opening track “Hey! We Ok” begins. A confident, upbeat and jangly number with a catchy “we walk our own way” refrain, it sets the tone for the rest of Black Cat to follow. “Red Balloon” is lyrically poignant, telling its tale of awakening and big picture realizations through the story of helium unleashed by a storm. “Happy New Year,” is a sarcastic, introspective number but one that also carries with it a message of hope. “
Tunes like “WooHoo” and “Boom!” show more of Drew’s playful side, and other songs like “Fone Tag” and “Post Surrealism” continue the upbeat, ecstatic, full production vibes. In contrast to the wall of sound, tucked warmly into the middle of the record, is “Peace Song,” featuring just Drew’s voice and whistling over ukulele. Finding a balance has certainly been a key part to the journey of Drew, and it’s Black Cat’s final song, “All Is Love,” that fully manifests that path. A stadium-ready sing-along, it’s a huge, bold, and earnest statement of compassion, but at its heart the message is simple and true. The black cat has learned to accept his differences and embrace his unique place in the universe. And he’s thriving.
Never Shout Never Black Cat Track Listing:
1. Hey! We OK
2. Fone Tag
3. Red Balloon
4. Happy New Year
5. Awkward Conversations (Best Day)
6. Black Cat
7. Peace Song
10. All Is Love