Canadian indie artist Troy Ounce has been on our radar for some time, with a string of singles, collaborations and remixes under the Rain Dragon label. His debut album Worst Fears is an honest reflection on addiction, longing and loss.
If that sounds like hard going, that’s because is sometimes is. The writing on the album is honest, sometimes painfully so. It’s music as exorcism, a deeply personal experience, and not one for the faint of heart.
However that isn’t to say there isn’t fun to be had. There is a whimsical air to Worst Fears just beneath the surface, with playful rhythms that teeter between surf rock, Beck and something approaching a flamenco shuffle. It has that washed out sound we’ve seen from other acts on the label, a rustic worn quality that jives well with the confessional tone.
‘Too Much Fun’ is a good example of the duality of tone; a song about self-loathing propelled by a bubbly, tropical groove. It’s a charming oddity.
There’s a rambling quality to these tales, and they present themselves in a non-linear procession, but when Troy’s voice cracks under emotional strain, there’s sincerity.
For those who enjoy loose and experimental indie music and off-beat lyricism, Worst Fears will provide plenty to chew over. It’s an album that sounds like a soundtrack to the world’s saddest Judd Apatow movie, and one of the musical ‘weather’ segments from Welcome to Night Vale.
In his words, “It’s an album about choosing life and staying alive.”
Worst Fears is free to stream here.