The cover of Boy Next Door. The EP is available on multiple platforms for streaming and download.
“Popular” immediately strikes with a hazy, stripped-down guitar lead, Trey Moore’s vivid vocal textures trailing right behind. At a moment’s notice, the rest of Moore’s ensemble comes crashing in all at once. Between the booming bass, understated keys, and distinct hi-hats arrives a track that is equally relaxing as it is entrancing. The lyrics recall a leading man in an 80s high school rom-com, with Moore courting the affection of his romantic counterpart with pure finesse and charisma.
On his latest EP, Boy Next Door, New Haven songbird Trey Moore shows his depth and sheer knack for artistry over seven purposeful tracks. The project dropped in November 2021 and is available on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal.
The project’s title is a perfect encapsulation of the overarching theme of the EP—a young man’s journey through sweet emotions, lingering angst, and lasting introspection. “Come Over” is a crooning confessional over a smooth collage of sounds; Moore walks the tightrope between modern neo-soul and pop with ease. At times, his voice blends into the instrumentation seamlessly, utilizing his tones as yet another instrument at his disposal. At other moments like “Run Forest," the spotlight is squarely on his vocals—exhibiting his flair for being the front-man of the musical retelling of his story.
The rhythmic, foot-stomping instrumentals sound like a major-budget production rather than the instruments of an indie artist, with waning guitars and pointed bass that is constant throughout all seven tracks.
Though the project is a short sampling of Moore’s talents, he fills those minutes with impeccable production and imaginative lyrics. It culminates in a very entertaining 24 minutes. What strikes immediately on the EP is how versatile Moore’s vocals are. On the EPs opener “Control,” Moore only needs a handful of words to fully flesh out the imagery of a passionate love affair: “A beautiful romance, a reservation for two. I’ll be ready to go there, take me to your moon.”
As Moore said in an interview with writer Shawn Murray for Cut/Break Magazine earlier this year, artists like Frank Ocean helped carve out a space for him to create now he is taking those barriers and manipulating them to his will. The project is at its most charming when Moore is being holistically himself and not leaning too deep into his bag of influences.
Although on the project Moore may reference his idols directionally in terms of sound, he does it in a way that doesn’t feel cheap or clammy. Instead, it’s a sweet homage to those who paved a lane for artists such as himself. The chord structure and slick-back tempo of “Control” plays like a distant cousin of Frank Ocean’s “Seigfried,” with Moore working in the same pocket of ingenuity as his predecessors.
Moore is a cunning instrumentalist, a riveting lyricist, and a stunning vocalist. Through sultry guitar licks and witty anecdotes, he is able to transport his audience into whatever crafty situation he conjures up in these songs. Whether he is talking about lost love, recognized appreciation, or seeking simple reciprocation—Moore treats each of these endeavors with the care necessary to make it in the cluttered music industry. In this writer’s humble opinion, this notion is the supreme draw of Boy Next Door.
He’s an enthralling act whose vision and execution cut through the noise and connects intimately with fans. This level of understanding shows that Moore’s not only wise beyond his years musically, but interpersonally as well. The natural conclusion after listening to Boy Next Door is that stardom is quietly awaiting the arrival of Trey Moore, and in the meantime the rest of us simply have to catch up.
Trey Moore's Boy Next Door is available of Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal. Find out more here.