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Dave Trautz discovers a new sound

Michael Escañuelas
Arts Editor

Establishing a folk music sound is not an easy task, but artist Dave Trautz is beginning to find his voice through his passion and honesty in his first double solo release, “Good News” and “Saviors.”

“I wasn’t really any good at being a musician so much, but I was pretty decent at writing and giving orders,” Trautz said.

Released on his website for free on May 4, the two releases are products of the last year of Trautz’s personal battle with the passion of one of his greatest influences and the departure of impossible love.

“I use writing as a way to work out problems,” Trautz said.

With a sense of humor that shows a hint of cynicism, Trautz unique personality can be seen in his writing, one of the most unique features of his solo efforts.

Considering the album falls into the folk music category similar to artists like Bright Eyes or Frightened Rabbits, Trautz’s lyrical talents work heavily in his favor.

“I found my three favorite folk rock bands and tried not to sound like them,” Trautz said.

The first release, “Good News” contains 13 tracks that display a perfect example Trautz’s talent for writing sincere lyrics. Songs like “Old Wine,” “Heavy Empty Space” and “Good News” prove that some of the most straight forward writing can be the most effective. Tracks like “In a Vacuum” present a more upbeat, metaphoric writing style and give the album diversity.

“This one I shot for 50. I wanted it to be half metaphors,” Trautz said.

The second release is a four track EP called “Saviors.” Before Trautz recorded “Good News,” a set of 10 songs was demoed in preparation.

“When I started writing, they ended up being better than the 10 songs I had,” Trautz said.

Trautz ended up picking four of his favorite songs among the demos and releasing them as a separate album along with “Good News.” This second release greatly compliments Trautz’s more focused sound on “Good News.”

The album follows the same folk music formula, but the addition of four additional songs gives the release more reason to download.

Especially considering the entire release is free.

“No one really buys anymore; I mean, I don’t buy music,” Trautz said. “Music should be free. How would you know you like them?”

One of Trautz’s large steps in creating this album is the transition to folk music.

Currently the mastermind behind the electronic rock band The Ready Aim Fire!, Trautz’s leap towards the acoustic guitar rather than then keyboard may come as a surprise to many fans of his current projects.

“I’ve never been one to write on an acoustic, so that in itself was an extra challenge,” Trautz said.

Upon release of his two solo efforts, Trautz has yet to actually play a show to promote the album.

Although he still playing shows with his full band, including a recent opening slot with larger acts like Analog Rebellion and Mansions, Trautz does not want to play any shows to promote his solo albums unless their actually is a demand from his audience.

“I’ve learned that I really don’t like making plans and shoving music down people’s throats,” Trautz said.

Although Trautz left the band behind for the time to finish his solo efforts, both “Good News” and “Saviors” are well equipped with full band songs all recorded by Trautz himself.

In previous albums by Trautz, the instruments were typically recorded by Trautz with the exception of drums.

“The most novel thing was doing drums,” Trautz said. “I taught myself through the game rock band, I didn’t know how to play drums before that.”

Trautz’s methods of taking the craft of his art into his own hands works in his favor, giving him freedom to express his creativity in unique ways.

Although little promotion is going into the albums, “Good News” and “Saviors” prove to be hidden gems among the Inland Valley music scene.

For more information and a link to download free music, visit davetrautz.com.

Michael Escañuelas can be reached at michael.escanuelas@laverne.edu.

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