Roy English - fearlove
Record Label: Canary Dynasty
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Although unsurprising to most, in September of 2011, the band known as Eye Alaska disbanded. It had been nearly two years since their sole studio album, Genesis Underground, had hit shelves to overall acclaim. Later in 2009, they entered the studio once again, only to drop off the radar until their breakup. Each individual expressed desire to move on as individuals. But, as best friends do, Brandon Wronski and Cameron Trowbridge stuck together. Wronski adopted the new moniker Roy English, and together, they built the Canary Dynasty. Since October, both Canary Dynasty and Roy English have been releasing tracks and videos of something they labeled “the Future” - what they see as the future of music and the future of their own lives.
People mature in two years. Artists develop as their own lives are shaped by new experiences. English has had two years to do exactly that. He has shed the cinema rock label that Eye Alaska carried in hopes to break into music to do nothing more than start something new in his own mind and in the minds of his listeners.
Prior to its release, five of seven fearlove tracks were released. Four were unplugged - stripped down versions of the ultimate product for a more intimate, raw portrayal of the final tracks. The fifth, “Never You/fearlove,” presented listeners with something familiar and something new; it was an eclectic fusion of both cinema rock and R&B.
So the ultimate question remains: does fearlove succeed in this new direction?
In a word, yes. As a whole, English continues to do what he has done best: making music and singing with stunning vocals. But a clear sense of improvement and maturity seeps through every track. His direction has undoubtedly changed. He sings with a deeper passion, as if with each lyric opens a window into his mind and his heart. “The Future” opens with English thanking his parents, only to move into a bold proclamation: he is coming out after a long, two year hibernation, and he’s coming out to make a significant bang. In Eye Alaska, English’s motives could perhaps be traced to making a difference by music. But now, English isn’t solely concerned on music. He is, in his eyes, crafting the Future for the rest of us to follow along with. He aims to start making a difference with music, but he plans on moving past the music. He plans on making a difference, period.
Every track attributes different strengths in English that aggregate into masterfully crafted tracks, exploring new sounds and deep, moving lyrics. The only hiccup within the entire EP could be found in “Ever After,” where too much experimentation with new sounds detracts from the song as a whole (the unplugged version proves to hold its own much better). Yet, the rest of the EP moves on, full force. In “Leap of Faith,” he continues to build on the struggles of his past, which have all lead him to this point. He has no idea where Canary Dynasty may take him, but he chooses to place his entire faith into the Future. From the continual violins in “Mr. No One” masking the melancholic, moving lyrics to the techno-R&B-inspired “Keys to the Lock,” English proves that his own, personal leap of faith takes him to places unprecedented to both the listener and himself. But this proves to be the most incredible part of the EP; there are no bounds to English’s sound. In fact, the plain concept that most of the EP has unplugged versions that work just as well as the originals contributes to the concept that he truly needs no bounds.
Brandon Wronski has evolved. Eye Alaska was an important and vital period of time in his life, but like much else in life, that time has passed. We can only reminisce and enjoy. But as we look towards the Future of Roy English and Canary Dynasty, we have no idea where we may visit. Even English may not know where he may visit next. But perhaps this is the change we all desire to see in music - boundless, yet full of expression. Old, yet new. fearlove is just the beginning.