“Either way I’m chasing drugs and sex over conversations,” acknowledges Appleby on “Scars In Waiting,” one of the crooner’s two new records that premiered on Pigeons & Planes earlier today. However I interpret his troubling line, at once hedonistic and helpless, I struggle to shake its weight. There’s power in precision, even more in honesty. The Illinois artist has acquired management and sharpened an already contemplative sound since we first covered him last October; now, more than any interim release, we see the benefit of engineers and professional studios take shape.
When he slides from verse one to the first chorus, uttering the track’s title words with a slight tonal jump, I fall victim to visions of this young man overtaking radio waves and church conclaves. Appleby has never sung so convincingly of desire and pain, nor over such a sweetly lost, mesmerizing soundscape.
Yet for every stride Appleby takes on “Scars,” he leaps another foot forward on “Drinkin,'” a gem I’ll play today, tomorrow and beyond. Like an endless fall into life’s deepest abyss, the latter song stretches and morphs to mirror Appleby’s inner conflict. His innocence is lost, you’ll hear him tell you. Believe every word.
You can dive into the faded depths of Appleby’s wispy recollections below. Follow him on Twitter here.