Icarus Phoenix, a lively band that started in Missoula, Montana, and is now located in Baltimore, MD, has been causing a stir in the indie music world since they formed in 2020. The group is made up of Drew Danburry (guitar/vocals), Eli Sims (drums), Leena Rhodes (guitar/vocals/synth), and Brendan Russell (bass). Throughout the years, Icarus Phoenix has had various band members and impressive shows, such as their performance at the Treefort Music Fest in 2021.

Their special mix of do-it-yourself attitude and sincere music has gained them a devoted fanbase, particularly following their feature on Stereogum’s standout albums list for their “Son” EP and their extensive 2024 tours in Japan and the USA. Getting ready for the launch of their fourth album in August 2024, produced by Jed Jones at June Audio, the band is still exploring new creative directions. Since 2002, Drew Danburry, the lead singer of the band, has been actively touring and releasing music on his own, accumulating over 400 songs spread out among 20 albums and 13 Eps. At the moment, Icarus Phoenix is collaborating with both Drew and Leena Rhodes on creating new music, with all three sharing songwriting and lead vocal responsibilities.

Icarus Phoenix

The most recent track by Icarus Phoenix, titled “Painting,” came out on June 6, 2024. This incredibly touching song showcases the band’s skill in creating music that is not only emotionally impactful but also musically complex. Essentially, “Painting” delves into the life and challenges faced by Drew Danburry’s mother, providing a heartfelt look into her world from the perspective of her son. The song explores themes of not knowing, comprehension, and the powerful influence of sorrow and strength on mankind’s soul.

The music starts with a soft, touching melody that quickly captures the listener’s attention, creating a reflective and contemplative atmosphere. A soft beat sets the foundation for the song, offering a consistent rhythm that enhances the intricate musical elements. The initial moments are characterized by a feeling of peace and self-reflection, preparing the way for the intimate story that follows. The instruments are arranged in multiple layers, forming a complex sound pattern that complements the vocals without taking away from them. This equilibrium enables the emotional significance of the lyrics to stand out, encouraging listeners to emotionally connect with the narrative on a profoundly personal level.

Drew Danburry’s singing in “Painting” stands out for its silky smooth tone that conveys a deep feeling of compassion and insight. His voice, gentle yet captivating, pulls listeners into his mother’s personal world. The lyrics, presented in a unique way, discuss the understanding that parents, even with imperfections and challenges, typically strive to do their utmost in tough situations. The message of empathy and pardon is threaded throughout the song, forming a compelling story that connects with those who have experienced similar feelings.

The gentle music and heartfelt singing in the song create a calming and deep atmosphere that surrounds the listener as it plays. The music slowly reveals itself, enabling the core of the song to penetrate the listener’s mind. The relationship between the vocals and the music is complex and carefully constructed, with each part enhancing the other to form a unified and engaging experience. The outcome is a song that creates a sense of closeness and vastness, pulling in listeners to its emotional world and encouraging them to contemplate their own personal connections and memories.

The lyrics of the song reveal intimate details about the sorrow and misfortune that influenced Drew’s mother’s life. This investigation is portrayed with careful consideration and subtlety, reflecting the intricacy of her feelings and encounters. The inclusion of visual elements, like a home filled with artwork made in a time of deep sorrow, brings an extra emotional depth to the story. These artworks, made as a therapeutic response following the passing of her third child, act as a strong representation of her ability to bounce back and showcase her creativity despite enduring a devastating tragedy.

The song continues with its soft and flowing music and vocals throughout, connecting deeply with the emotions of the audience. This uniformity produces a contemplative aspect that pulls in the audience to the core of the narrative, prompting them to connect with the feelings and topics being presented. Drew’s emotional singing paired with the rich, layered music results in a captivating atmosphere that is both lovely and eerie, leaving a deep impact on listeners.

At 3 minutes and 50 seconds into the song, “Painting” goes through a significant change by adding a sound of a machine that alters the song’s atmosphere. The addition of a haunting, creepy ambiance brings depth to the song, evoking a feeling of discomfort that stands in stark contrast to the soft, reflective mood of the earlier parts. This change in sound helps emphasize the emotional depth of the story, drawing attention to the more disturbing and unsettling parts of the narrative. The utilization of this unique sound results in a strong auditory impact that stays with the listener even after the song has finished.

Overall, “Painting” by Icarus Phoenix is a profoundly emotional and carefully created track that delves into the subjects of loss, determination, and comprehension within the context of Drew Danburry’s mother’s experiences. The song includes a careful blend of heartfelt singing and rich musical arrangement that forms a deep and engaging listening journey. The song tells a deeply personal story with sensitivity and nuance, capturing the intricate nature of human emotions and relationships. In general, “Painting” is a strong and emotive work that leaves a memorable impact on its audience. Audiences are urged to witness this personal and compelling composition, highlighting the band’s exceptional skill in storytelling with music.

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