Drew Worthley
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Drew Worthley

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Americana Acoustic


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There are albums that are instant, collections of songs that instantly reveal themselves to you, striking a chord with you on that first very first spin and then there are those albums that slowly worm their way in, those records that creep up on you and before you know it you find yourself hooked. The first type of recording tends to stick around a little whilst before disappearing into your collection, whilst the latter hangs on, keeps calling you back, demanding another outing, nagging you to reappraise, instructing you to listen harder.

Singer-songwriter Drew Worthley’s debut album, The Ember is one of those slow builders, a delicate affair with slight instrumentation, warm vocals and lyrics that are so passionate, so full of emotion, so personal that you almost feel like a voyeour leafing through the secret diaries of Drew’s life and you can’t help but keep returning to his tales of love and loss. Sure you may say there are loads of singer-songwriters who pour out their heart and soul, wear their emotions as a badge of honour and share every thought, but few manage to do it with such grace and raw honesty, even less make you feel for every heartfelt lyric.

The album opens with the gorgeous title track, which introduces Drew’s soulful yet slight croon accompanied by a delicate slice of plucked aoustic guitar, it’s so sparse that you can almost hear a pin drop as Drew runs his hands over the fretboard and gently moans. From such humble beginnings Drew adds a muted trumpet and banjo for the late night lament, 3AM, peppering an already intoxicating sound and you find yourself succumbing to Drew’s heartfelt craft. When I Was A Boy is a more upbeat affair, with banjo, handclaps and strummed guitar competing for your attention whilst Drew delivers a delightfully infectious chorus and an instantly hummable hook.

Throughout the album Drew, delivers poetic musings over hushed instrumentation, begging the listener to block out any unwanted distractions and just allow his music do all the talking. To pick individual highlights but be something of a disservice to the complete works, however I do have to mention All To Give and it’s rich tapestry of picked guitars, low key horns and Drew’s delicious aching vocals as it seems to really pull at the heartstrings of this humble reviewer.

The Ember is a wonderful low key release that really deserves your time and attention, like I said it’s a slow burner but when it takes hold it really takes hold and I assure you it’s not one of those albums you’ll enjoy for the moment, this one is for life.

Rhythm & Booze Rating 10 - Rhythm&Booze


The Ember LP (2011)



London-based troubador Drew Worthley has long been immersed in the music scene as a session musician, composer and performer. In the last decade he has focused on developing a passionate and distinctive approach to playing the acoustic guitar with other artists, even playing a live session on the Bob Harris show on BBC Radio 2. His debut album ‘The Ember’ is a collection of wistful and honest ballads about love and loss. Although all the tracks are centred around a spine of acoustic finger-picking or strummed guitar, a sprawling web of banjos, ukuleles, cajon, bass and trumpet weave their way around Worthley’s heartfelt vocals to create a diverse musical tapestry. Rhythm&Blues magazine awarded the “intoxicating” record a 10/10 review, whilst Maverick magazine called it an album which “will take an extraordinary effort to even match let alone better.” With a track recently featured in Wired magazine, this is an album and acoustic performance not to miss.