Drew Russell pairs banjo strings with a wake-up call on new single ‘Deliverance’

Brisbane musician Drew Russell continues his winning streak with new, cinematic-inspired single Deliverance.  

Drew Russell is set to release his latest single, Deliverance (19th May). Anchored by the Brisbane musician’s mastery of the banjo, the track opens with twangy finger-picked strings and melodic harmonica, before Russell commands the production with soulful vocals. Drenched in catchy sound effects and a fast-paced rhythm, Deliverance is a multi-sensory experience, only heightened by Russell’s thoughtful reflections on social unrest and the human psyche. 

The single’s biggest drawcard remains the commanding use of banjo. Whether he’s slowing down the tempo with smooth strums or letting loose on a clamorous string section, Russell’s affinity for the banjo is patently felt on Deliverance, though he pays equal attention to the track’s surrounding instrumentation. 

Drew Russell single 'Deliverance'

In one sequence, Russell delivers mono-syllabic vocals as clapping sound effects punctuate his performance, while another foregrounds thunderous percussion and electric guitar. The effect of these cumulative instruments is exhilarating, with Deliverance reaching its apex on a climactic bridge and anthemic final chorus, complete with backing harmonies and twinkling piano keys. 

While some might argue that the audience for a banjo-player is niche, Russell folds the instrument into symphonic soundscape, which allows Deliverance to fall under a variety of genres from Bluegrass to folk, to country or spaghetti western. It’s a sonic feat that you’d think would require a 10-person team, but Deliverance is all the more impressive for the fact that it was produced, mixed and mastered by Russell himself. 

Drew Russell single 'Deliverance'

Deliverance draws its title from the 1972 thriller film of the same name, which features a duelling banjo scene between characters that Russell found particularly inspiring. The film, alongside sonic influences like Jake Bugg and Luke Bryan, saw the genesis of Deliverance, though Russell’s lyricism is something entirely his own. 

Offering a warning call against tyranny, the singer urges listeners to not “be like the fools that follow all the rules,” and elsewhere implores us to “stop turning on ourselves and take the fight to those who yell.”           

Drew Russell single 'Deliverance'

Deliverance marks only the fourth-ever single to be released by Russell, and follows on from last year’s So It Seems, Sunny Street and In My Dreams. Each song is expected to form the tracklist of Russell’s upcoming debut album, which is set for release sometime this year. 

In the meantime, give the track a listen above and presave Drew Russell’s new single Deliverance here.