The promotional materials for Evan Troop’s second EP The Next Chapter inform us of some cool background and character defining tidbits – like his parents having met at a music studio in Winnipeg in the 70s and the lyrically insightful hard-driving pop/rocker writing his first songs aboard Merchant Vessels her traveled around the world as a ship’s officer. Additionally, we learn he served 8 years as an officer in the US Naval Reserve.
All super impressive for sure, but perhaps even more relevant to his emergent success as an indie artist since his 2018 self-titled debut is the fact that early in his life, he was diagnosed with a processing problem in English. His speech pathologists and tutored told his parents he would probably never graduate high school. Early handicap long since overcome, Troop is a master of simple, hard hitting storytelling, using essentially few words, his soaring classic rock vocals and lots of crunchy blues-rock guitars on his high impact second EP The Next Chapter to weave a sobering and reflective autobiographical narrative.
The plaintive, slow building opening power ballad “Gone” takes us to the crashing heart of romantic loss, which the singer follows with the edgier, even harder hitting “My Time Now,” which finds him possibly addressing God, mining struggles with his own sin (including a reference to the temptation of drink) and self-forgiveness while also offering tiny shards of hope in the lines: “It’s my time, you can’t bring me down/Past and future/It’s my time now…” “Slippin’ Away” is one of those two-ply rockers where the breezy harmonies and playful rollicking grooves drive the gut wrenching sense that he’s completely losing his sanity.
Whether it’s God or an old friend or lover, as on the self-recriminating on the fiery “Enemy,” at least he has the good sense to reach out for help through the darkness. Troop cites The Beatles as one of his many influences, and “Enemy” is truly a contemporary version of “Help!” – a plea for help couched in a slick light rock presentation. The most life affirming and hopeful track, the closer “Your Man, is also the hardest rocking and even a bit like an anthem, which makes all sorts of soaring heartfelt promises of a future full of love over a propulsive, guitar heavy production. It goes without saying – but I’ll say it anyway – that I can’t wait to see what the next next chapter of Troop’s career brings.