From the common rooms of a retirement home to the rich sonics of his debut singles, Trent Toney is a voice to be reckoned with.
Portland, Oregon is the home of indie music. With a steadfast reputation for all things hipster, it has birthed and attracted some of the greatest indie-rock bands of the last thirty years. Enter Trent Toney. Guided by the rich culture of folk, alt-pop, and a plethora of local spaces to gig in, he has flourished as an artist.
A year before his grandmother’s passing, Trent Toney performed his first-ever live gig. He went straight to the source of healing. Alongside his siblings, he played at the nursing home itself – a way of giving back to the staff and shedding some light in a lonely place. Much like his sentimental lyricism and soothing melodies, Toney’s story is steeped in heart-opening truths.
It’s this philanthropic approach to life that’s palpable in Trent Toney’s music. His sophomore single, Knew You, is saturated in comforting folksy moments. Layered fingerstyle guitar work that builds on this fluid, watery kind of melancholy. Where Toney might have leant too heavy into the commerciality of pop, he brings the track back to its knees – starting again to recreate the tapestry of the song.
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Knew You is rimmed in romance. It lingers in the connective space between two people who have just met, yet, feel like they’ve known each other for a long time. Toney is that old soul. His velvety, pitch-perfect vocals are reminiscent of radio lords like Ed Sheeran and James Bay. Moreover, sudden raspy inflections add textured low lights in unexpected moments.
Just when you’re confident in what Trent Toney is all about, his video contributes another facet to his artistry. Tongue-in-cheek themes and clever editing legitimise Toney as being broader than his tritely innocent influences.
At his core, the humble stages of the Trent Toney’s first gigs have stayed with him. And seven years later, he still performs at the nursing home regularly. Laced in sheer authenticism, his music is beguiling.
Listen to Knew You on Spotify below: