We last heard from Key West Chris (AKA Chris Rehm) back in 2019 with his island-influenced Americana work All The Best From Key West. We thoroughly enjoyed that album, a “collection of songs which not only vibrates high, but also earns its place as a timeless body of work with a mystical power to draw fans of other genres into its spell.” Now we’re excited to report that Key West Chris is back with an all-new set of songs – his EP Trimaran is as transportive and captivating as they come.
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
This is a short and sweet three-track EP, but Rehm makes the most of every second, packing these tracks with vibrant imagery and compelling, well-produced instrumentation. It opens with Cayo Hueso Rain (pronounced kai – o way – so). Each component of this EP is brimming with meaning and purpose – Cayo Hueso was the first European name given to the island of Key West. Over a gentle and melodic track full of island percussion and bright acoustic guitar, this song weaves a subtle but intriguing story of a local taking in the familiar sights and sounds while walking around town in the rain. It’s quintessential singer-songwriter with a tropical flair.
Sunset Sail is pure and dulcet, radiating peace and relaxation at every measure. The warm, honeyed vocals from Dani Hoy are an especially nice addition to this track, giving it a fuller, sweeter sound. Even the pacing of the lyrics is particularly measured, with plenty of room to breathe between each line. It’s almost impossible not to imagine yourself on a sailboat at sunset while this song is playing.
OUR FAVORITE TRACK…
The EP concludes with King Tide, and it appears Rehm has saved the best for last. A touch of surf rock, a little bit bluesy, and a whole lot of funk – it’s not at all like the other two tracks on this project, but it’s a wholly enjoyable change. The chord progression is eccentric – it’s never quite predictable, keeping the listener on their toes the entire way through. And it’s a good thing – you might miss some of the ingenious storytelling if you weren’t listening closely. This song talks of the “King Tide” – a particularly destructive and powerful high tide – that often affects the Florida Keys. The entire song structure is built to symbolize that concept – the first verses talk of mystery and anticipation of what the tide will bring, the instruments explode into their respective solos when the tide “hits”, and then we’re eased back down to the aftermath on the other side. The song structure, the arrangement, the writing, the performances – this track is brilliant.
Anyone who’s ever been to Key West knows the kind of magical, tropical paradise Key West Chris is singing about on Trimaran. In fact, it’s a near-perfect encapsulation of the truly unique atmosphere that can only be found in The Conch Republic. We can talk about its merits all day long (as there are many – Rehm’s masterful songwriting and the truly stunning collection of performances on this project, to name a few), but you’ll gain a much greater appreciation for the work and skill on display on this EP if you just put it on and listen. You’ll be transported to the land of balmy island breezes and bold Cuban coffee in mere moments (and really, can you think of somewhere else you’d rather be?)
BELOW: Listen to Trimaran and connect with his website and social media platforms. Please support Key West Chris by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
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