Drew Citron: Free Now (Park the Van) - review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, November 26th, 2020  

Drew Citron

Free Now

Nov 17, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Drew Citron has been a mainstay of the Brooklyn indie creative scene for several years now, and 2020 sees her release her solo debut album. Perhaps circumstance conspired to push Citron into the spotlight, but as it happens, it suits her perfectly. Best known for her work as one half of the superb Beverly and member of Public Practice, she’s always had an ear for wistful evocative beauty and towering choruses. Free Now contains all those elements of her previous work, and given that it was informed by the breakup from her partner and former Beverly bandmate Scott Rosenthal, it’s obviously bittersweet and at times melancholic, but always thought-provokingly poignant and melodically uplifting.

It may not have anything quite as wondrous as Beverly’s glorious “South Collins” (one of my favorite songs of the past decade from their 2016 sophomore album The Blue Swell), but it’s Citron’s intuitive ear for melody replete with distorted guitar licks allied to her direct and honest lyrics that make Free Now such an arresting listen. There are some beautiful heartfelt moments, and it certainly feels more intimate and raw than her previous work. She confronts her feelings head on in the title track, “Free Now,” with lyrics that appear to address her ex, but it’s done with compassion and understanding—an acknowledgement that whilst the break-up process is tough as you free yourself from the routines and the safety net a relationship affords you, it’s also often very necessary. 

“Birch Tree” opens with an almost folksy vibe before exploding into life as Citron’s distorted grungy guitar work rips in. “Kiss Me” is a soaring Beverly-esque number as Citron laments on the feelings induced by a relationship slowly slipping away and the attempts to salvage it. “17” harks back to Citron’s love of late’80s Smiths-influenced jangle pop, whilst album closer “Loves the Illusion” has a subtle country/Americana twang and really showcases Citron’s dreamy timeless vocals. It’s an album that more than demonstrates Citron has the musical chops to stand on her own two feet as an artist and it contains some genuinely affecting and heart-swelling moments. (www.drewcitron.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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