Drake Jensen’s new single “Talk Me Down” is the complete package. The song definitely stands on its own as a sterling example of what talented modern performers steeped in country music influences are capable of, but hits home even harder thanks to the superb video accompanying its release. The song is taken from Jensen’s latest studio album Sideshow and runs a little over three minutes in length, an ideal duration for making maximum impact on listeners. The striding mid-tempo pace features strong guitar work and thunderous yet precise drums – despite being an indie country release, “Talk Me Down” has all of the polish and punch you’d expect from any mainstream Nashville production. It’s the latest and arguably greatest gem from an eight year career that has followed an upward tick in fortune since Jensen first emerged on the scene in 2011.

The Canadian born singer/songwriter did not pen this particular tune, but he sings it like it is lifted from personal experience and deserves hearty plaudits for the vigor he brings to a composition not his own. It isn’t a talent all singers share. He sounds comfortable and confident with the traditional turns of a rock influenced country song despite his Canadian upbringing but that should be no surprise – many performers and musical artists born in the Great White North, like The Band for instance, are noted for their aptitude with this distinctly American musical genre. The song has a music video linked with its release and the promotional clip further emphasizes the dramatic nature of the song’s situation without ever tumbling into hamfisted drama.

SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/album/50vBpQeIQqm2c3iLor6B3N

The polish of the video extends to the song’s production as well. Vocals and musical instruments alike are surrounded with a robust sound that is immediate and in your face but never threaten to overwhelm listeners. Instead, this is an energetic ride from the first with a steady pushing quality thanks to the band and the urgent tone Jensen brings with his vocals. He really gets behind each word of the songwriting and conveys his dire circumstances with all the fervor of someone longing to be saved from the darkness welling up within. “Talk Me Down” will make you believe he is at the end of the line and can scarcely take no more – moreover, you will finish this song wishing you could do something to help the guy at the center of this tune.

That’s no small achievement – a singer who makes you believe. In an age when it is increasingly rare to feel the anguish and sense of high stakes in a song that often makes performances great rather than workmanlike, Jensen is a breath of fresh air. He brings every vocal tool at his disposal to burn this track into listener’s brains and succeeds. If the remaining tracks included on Sideshow even match the passion of this single, let alone exceed it, Drake Jensen has succeeded in crafting a stone cold classic album release at a time when many voices are crowing the album is a dead form in our modern age. If so, Jensen never got the memo. Thankfully.

Sebastian Cole