Trey Strange, above all else, is a champion for the underdog. Breaking the mold of his traditional small-town, he moved to Nashville to pursue his dreams of becoming a singer-songwriter.
Pulling from his personal experiences, Trey Strange writes his songs with the emotional honesty of a diary entry. His candid style of lyricism invites listeners into the most intimate parts of his life.
Casting out the highly anticipated debut EP, 'Pastel Feelings,' listeners get to experience the deep cuts of Trey Strange as adds a playful spin into his introspection. Through the five tracks that are carefully curated to flow in an effortless breath of synth-pop production, the themes of the growing pains of adolescence and the duality of innocence lost are captured in a magnified, sonic lens.
Kicking off 'Pastel Feelings' with a vivid progression that grows in intensity, as we grow even fonder of Trey Strange, “The First Thing,” is perfectly placed in succession as we grasp the liberating essence of this record. It feels as though the whimsical freedom that’s explored in the mind of Trey Strange gets impeccably transferred over to a visual canvas that resides in our mind. Giving us exactly what we need to carry forth through the navigation of this EP, we find ourselves already submerged in what 'Pastel Feelings,' is set out to convey.
Trickling into the poignant rush of “Fall Like That,” we admire the ease and grace that Trey Strange consistently transports through the songs presently showcased. With a vocalization that overflows in pure passion, we hear the emotion that’s placed into each lyrical motif performed. Shifting our focus to the detail that resides in the production elements of this particular record, there’s a seamless amalgamation that occurs when we hear how the delicate, yet prevailing timbres of Trey Strange cascade upon the dreamscape before us. Feasting on carefully crafted words such as, ‘it’s like you’re a ghost now, you’re everywhere I am,’ have us caught up in the authenticity portrayed in Trey Strange’s finer sentiments.
Coming to the third, and halfway point of the EP, “Strings” has us lingering on the intimate essence conveyed by Trey Strange, and his knack for creating monumental illustrations in our minds. Just when we thought the contrast of his elusive tenors, over flourishing instrumentation, couldn’t get any rawer, the effervescent textures that we’re exposed to leap from a wandering angle that ropes us into the upbeat ambitions of Trey Strange. With an earworm hook that has us wanting to learn every single word so we can belt out the lyrics at the top of our lungs, we’re thrilled to have such an alluring appeal in 'Pastel Feelings' as we proceed through the motions.
“Calabasas,” catches our attention with an array of production components that stand out from the rest of the songs heard on this project. Trey Strange does an exceptional job at keeping this unexpected synth-pop flavor in each song performed but has us wandering the paths of a unique route on this particular track. Carrying forth the consistent, therapeutic framework found on each song, “Calabasas,” has us floored with the genuine meanings that lure in the realm of profound glory. Projecting inimitable croons that wrap us in a blanket of warmth, we adore the burgeoning growth that takes us from start to finish of 'Pastel Feelings.'
As we get to the atmospheric outro of “Changing Colors,” we soak in the passion delivered through an ambient universe of a world waiting to be discovered. Hearing the growth that has taken Trey Strange from our opening moments with him, to our final bow to everything 'Pastel Feelings' represents, “Changing Colors,” makes for the closure that we need on a debut EP of this caliber. As we sink into our seats with hearts full of comprehension, we reflect on the glorious, and honest words of Trey Strange, in a vulnerable offering of sonic realism. 'Pastel Feelings,' is available to stream on your favorite streaming platform.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Trey Strange, and congratulations on the release of your striking, debut EP, 'Pastel Feelings.' With a project that taps into your vulnerability at the source, what inspired you to convey the themes of growing pains of adolescence, and the duality of innocence lost?
Thank you so much! When I started writing 'Pastel Feelings' I was a freshman in college, so I was kind of finding my footing as a young adult and really coming to terms with my teenage years. I'd found myself writing these coming-of-age songs that were both celebratory of losing my innocence, but also had melancholic undertones weaved throughout. The layout of the tracklisting tells the chronological story of my entrance into adulthood from ages fifteen to twenty: starting with the loss of a loved one, the loss of a friendship, then the rocky waters of mature relationships. 'Pastel Feelings' is all about finding love after loss, whether that love comes from myself or the people I've found along the way. By the time I felt like I’d closed that chapter in my life, I guess I really felt proud of everything I’d gone through and wanted to release a project that let people into that intimate place in my head.
With there being five songs that listeners can sink themselves into, what would you like them to take away from this EP as a whole?
To me, the message of 'Pastel Feelings' is that growing up sucks, but there’s a silver lining to it all. I always thought that life would be like a John Hughes film; in reality, that’s never how things turn out. There will be let-downs, heartbreak, closed doors, and missed opportunities, but I’ve come to cherish the bittersweetness of it all. 'Pastel Feelings' is all about learning how to take the blows but finding comfort in knowing that you’re not alone in the ring.
Could you please share a glimpse into what the creative process looked like when structuring this body of work? Were there any songs that didn’t make the cut, or ones that you wish did?
The creative process for “Pastel Feelings” started in writing sessions with my best friends, Hannah Diones and Garrett Jacob. The first song I remember writing for this project was “The First Thing.” I believe Hannah and I wrote that in February of 2020. After we went into quarantine, I got the idea for the pre-chorus of “Fall Like That” and finished it as an assignment for my songwriting class. “Calabasas” was written in a series of FaceTime calls between Hannah and me. In the end, we brought in Garrett to help us with “Strings'' and “Changing Colors.” After we finished the writing, I took the songs to Scott Giffin and he produced the entirety of “Pastel Feelings.” Aesthetics are super important to me, especially when it comes to projects like this. Because of that, I got together with my photographer, Clara Ann (@momentsbyca on Instagram), and makeup artist, Four (@makeupby4our on Instagram), and we crafted a beautiful visual expression for the EP. There was one song that didn’t end up making the cut actually, “Room 237.” It’s a super romantic song about getting to know the deepest parts of someone, like all of their hidden insecurities and wildest dreams. I wrote that one with Garrett, but sadly it didn't seem to fit the EP sonically, so we had to cut it.
Out of all songs explored by your mind and emotions on 'Pastel Feelings,' do you have a particular song that resonates with you more than others? Why?
“Changing Colors” is one that I find myself resonating with more than anything lately. I’m a much happier person now than when we first started writing the songs for 'Pastel Feelings.' This song is all about finding that light at the end of the tunnel after going through all of the darkness. It's like looking up at the sky at the end of a storm to see the sun and knowing everything will be okay. I remember writing it with Hannah and Garrett near the end of 2020 and seeing it as a sigh of relief in a sense. I went through a rough patch after losing my grandfather last year and needed to write something uplifting. It ended up being the perfect closing track for 'Pastel Feelings,' and I find that it encapsulates exactly how I feel now.
What is your mission statement as an artist? How do you find that 'Pastel Feelings' ties into that?
I want to make people feel welcomed as they are. Relationships drive me as a person. I love stories and understanding what makes people who they are. “Pastel Feelings” is the catalyst for connecting with my audience. Everyone has gone through life-changing events that have broken us down and forced us to analyze every bit of our being. I hope that listening to my story will help others see that there is beauty in the mosaic of all their broken pieces.