Trey Graves’ drft. is a Contemporary Display of Mellow Contemplation

 Evan Dale // Sep 6, 2018 

Who is Trey Graves? 


Not sure.


Where is he from?


Don’t know.


What does he do? 


Makes entirely addicting, understated music the vibes of which align to any early Autumn day spent watching the clouds pass overhead. 


drft. is his new seven-track project and is quite possibly a masterpiece of the emerging modern mellowist tradition. Seemingly found tightroping the grey areas populating the space between neo-soul, modern R&B, funk, and hip-hop, it’s not too much of a surprise to find that Graves, like many modern transcendentalists, is a master of his entire creative process. From conception and songwriting, to recording, production, and mastering, drft. was created under the spell of his own direction. 


And through that direction – or rather, directions – drft. is nothing short of contemplative and necessary. 


A track like new thang is driven by sultry R&B vocals and an exhibition of Graves’ rap ability.


The titular track, drft, begins as a funky display of his unique lyrical approach but concludes a compositional electronic force.


watuwannado finds space somewhere in between where Graves’ entire spectrum is put on display. 


Albeit that the project sways its way through differentiating vibes, styles, and even genre, oftentimes within the bounds of a single track, nothing is lost in its ability to emerge a collective and compact creation whose directions by the project’s end, come to peace with one another. 


Bouts of lyrically-endowed hip-hop installments grant the project a particular sense of story and the high-energy shifts necessary to recapture the audience’s attention from its places of meditation and calm inspired by Graves’ concurrent knack for peaceful funk-beats and sweet, soulful vocal runs. The whole thing, as wide-ranging as it is, is the work of a wholesome creator, and that’s what makes it so contemporary. 


But, contemporary is nothing new from the Milky Wayv label.


What is new – what Graves brings to the tables of not only Milky Wayv but also just to music in general – is his own take on the modern multi-dimensional market. Many artists rap, many sing, many produce, and some even do it all, but something about Trey Graves and his personal approach grant his music – grant drft something so approachable across the many spectrums above which he floats. 


The outcome is a project better described by naming seasons and weather than it is by naming the stylistic traditions to which Trey Graves subscribes. And of all the seasons – of all the weather – there is no better descriptor than cool