Photo by Cameron Powell
It’s okay if you don’t know who Trent Dabbs is, but don’t be surprised if you know his music. Even if you haven’t heard one of his nine solo records, you’ve probably come across a track he’s co-written with Ingrid Michaelson, Kace Musgraves, or Joy Williams, to name a few. With his 10th solo endeavor, The Optimist, coming out on July 22nd, it’s time to get to know Dabbs for who he is behind the mic, not just the pen.
A Mississippi native and current Nashville resident, much of Dabbs’ previous records have fallen into the Americana strain of music. However, as he began writing with Daniel Tashian of Nashville’s own The Silver Seas, more pop sensibilities crept into the songs. The result was The Optimist, a collection of tracks that shift from lush acoustic melodies to shimmering starlight hooks.
Lead single “Closing Time” is one of the latter, Dabbs’ voice swaying in the breeze of the verses created by the bubbling bass and the sashaying guitars. Though the musicians cite influences like Tobias Jesso Jr. and Bahamas, there’s a bit of Narrow Stairs-era Death Cab for Cutie in the romance of the chorus.
“‘Closing Time’ is simply an invitation into the night,” Dabbs explains to Consequence of Sound. “If you are a dreamer then you never want the night to end. This song is about being with someone who knows how to read your signs.”
Don’t let the night end, and click play below.