Up in Smoke –  Shy Troy (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Some music is about the quick hit, the 3 minutes of euphoric delivery, the brief saccharin high to be used and thrown away as the listener moves on to the next product. Yes, I hate that word too but sometimes it is totally accurate. Some music however is about subtlety, about giving you something to think about,  of drawing the listener in through its understated oddness, of planting wonderful little sonic Trojan horses that you can’t stop thinking about long after the track itself has finished. Up in Smoke is definitely in the latter category.

As a debut single its terrific, not just in its gentle, lilting melancholic vibes, its spaciousness and restraint, but also in what it is saying, and its message is wonderfully reinforced by the video. The notion of putting on a brave face to the outside world whilst we struggle with our inner demons or real life issue, is one that is finally becoming something that people are talking more and more about and as the video depicts the gradual unravelling of someones daily routine whilst they chant “just pretend that I’m cool” neatly illustrates what is often going on behind the facades we present to the world.

Up In Smoke is also an interesting fashion of styles, lyrically the tone feels more in keeping with hip-hop in its lyrical flow and vocal delivery but it wraps a guitar line straight out of the rock oeuvre around it, poignant, hypnotic, relentless. Through in some depth charge bass pulses, just the hint of a beat and lots of room for the sounds to work their magic and the words to hang in the air long enough to sink in and you have a quite amazing first release. I’m already waiting to see what Shy Troy delivers next and if the job of a debut single is to put the artist on the map and get them noticed against the white noise of modern music consumerism, Up In Smoke is a runaway success.

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