The Early Vulnerability of TRACES’ Median EP
by larisha paul
In the current state of rising artists, we see a lot of young twenty somethings moving to Los Angeles on a whim in hopes of scoring a record deal and harvesting their talent. What we actually end up getting out of these artists, however, is overdone LA pop music that doesn’t conceptually extend beyond partying all the time, being high, and hooking up with LA girls only to regret it days later.
While a lot of these artists lack authenticity in their music, Tim Dehnert, who performs under the moniker TRACES, made the move from San Diego to LA and brought every element of his vulnerability with him.
Ahead of the release his first whole project of the year, Median, Dehnert shared the last two tracks on the EP as a precursor. The first was “Before I Wilt,” which showed the singer in his peak electro-R&B element, complete with the smoothest of vocals matched immaculately with subtle drops throughout the track. The final track, “Clouds,” was described by Dehnert as “one of the more transparent and vulnerable songs I’ve released,” in a tweet the day it was released.
The vulnerability seen on “Clouds” is evident on a slightly heavier track,“Better Alone,” where he sings “I’ve grown used to leaving before you get to resent what I’ve become. If no one left is innocent, then where do we belong?” Dehnert manages to bring the strangers into the most specific and intimate of moments of his music in a way that forms a heartfelt and caring connection rather than one that feels as though he’s putting on a front for sympathy.
Where the aforementioned tracks puts Dehnert’s vocal abilities in the spotlight by showcasing his range in the setting of light instrumentation, “Stay Low” trades in those slower instrumentals for heavy production presented alongside emotionally haunting lyrics. This continues on “Violent Ends,” the track on the EP that proves to be most socially reminiscent of songs like “Majesty” from last years Heart of Gold EP. The track pulls listeners in with the build up throughout each verse, each met with increasing energy before the heavy weight of the chorus comes down.
There’s something to be said about an artist showing such a high level of quality lyricism and honesty so early in their career. Median is available for streaming now, and is only the second of many TRACES projects to come. We have a lot to look forward to here.
listen to median now available on spotify.