Goldwyn Thandrayen is a thriving musician and singer-songwriter, who picked up the guitar at age 16 and has been making music ever since. He is best known for his work in 2017 as the lead singer and guitarist to Montreal’s rock band, Psychocide.
He formed The Goldwyn Experiment in 2011 after being exposed to the jazz world via a jazz establishment in Florida that he started attending after graduating high school. For the most part, a collaboration project, Thandrayen would enlist the help of Art Hirahara on piano, Evan Gregor on upright bass, and Jared Schonig on drums to assist him with the actualization of their first album, Avenue A.
Avenue A fuses sonically a jazz ensemble with a more atmospheric and ambient soundscape than Thandrayen’s previous works. The album was recorded at Strange Weather Studios in Brooklyn and was released in 2016, going on to describe Thandrayen’s life in New York City. Similarly, The Goldwyn Experiment’s follow-up record, Avenue B, follows in the same vein – Avenue B being where Thandrayen resided in Lower East Side of New York City. According to the artist, Avenue B actually goes on to encompass in a bigger scope his life experiences living in various cities.
About the album, Thandrayen says: “This album although entitled Avenue B which is where I resided in the Lower East Side of New York City. It actually encompasses my life experience, from living in Mauritus, Glasgow – Scotland, NYC, San Diego – California and Montreal. The ideas, melodies, feels and riffs comes from all these places and people I met along the way, music I heard from bars and buskers. The record just happened to be a narrative after the project was recorded, it’s a story told backwards from the last track up to the first.”
For their newest collaborative effort, Thandrayen would gather up the trio, with the exception of Jared Schonig, who would be replaced by Kenny Grohowski. Avenue B was recorded in Avatar Studios in New York City and Planet Studio in Montreal that includes the former setup of piano, upright bass, and drums, but this time with Thandrayen’s spectacular finger work on the guitar.
Avenue B opens up with “Prologue,” a track that starts off with an energized melodic tune on the piano. The keys give rise to a smattering of drums that offset the harmonies on the piano. This song has a great jazzy sound that gives off an atmospheric vibe made up of pure instrumentals. The track has a melancholic air with soaring sounds coming from the piano and drums, creating a great dramatic quality.
“Vodka Tea” starts off with a revving vibe on the electric guitar as the instrumentals coalesce to give off an energized appeal. With a spirited and fun-loving feel, this song has an invigorating, fresh approach. Thandrayen vocals, here, are sexy and alluring, permeated with a smoky feel. Traces of the piano provides a melodic riff to the track. An electric guitar sounds off with a touch of reverb. There is definitely an amped feel to the music and vocals.
On “Bag Of Nails,” the vocals are auto-tuned, giving the track a more gritty and reverberating quality. The electric guitars really sound off to give a sonically stellar vibe. This is a really catchy track with its upbeat and energized components. With great rhythms coming from the bass, the happening rock ‘n’ roll vibe melds in perfectly with the prog rock, alt, and jazz elements. A radioactive guitar solo paves this song towards the end.
“Sad Boy Summer” incorporates fast guitars with insane instances of drumming that maneuvers its way towards the beginning of this track. With notes of hip hop pervading the song, the track encompasses the stellar rap styles of Tyler Guest and Tommy Atomic DiRocco that aptly fits into the flux of flow coming from the happening vocals of Wilson Li. The song is also embellished with a jazzy flair with the fast backbeat of the drums and the cascading sounds of the electric guitar, creating a wall of sound.
“Fast Response” has a chilling cadence coming from the wave of guitars and the delicate sound of the piano keys in the backdrop. The combined vocal give a hard edge to the track with a metal vibe. Thandrayen’s vocals cultivate an earnestly controlled rage as he sings with vigor and fervor. While at the same time, the piano melody gives off a beatific riff in the midst of this aggressively executed music. The contrast is quite electrifying.
“Interlude” encompasses a jazzy piano interlude with drums that accompany the piano tune. With a great jazzy flair, the vibrant vibe incorporates an up keyed and energized feel.
“Whale Jail” enlists some great psychedelic guitars that give this song a great retro feel coming straight from the '50s and '60s. With a happening classic rock vibe, the track also has a great swing emphasis with a happening groovy cadence. With a fast drumming backbeat, the vocals are sung with attitude, syncing in perfect form along with the radioactive guitars, drums, and bass.
The album slows down on this slow-burning number, “Arrows.” This pretty dynamic ballad has a slow grinding melodic vibe, recalling a New Wave sound. The cadence is slightly somber and melancholic with a piano melody tracing the track.
“Let It Snow” has a great catchy tune with an upbeat melody. Catering to the uplifting vibes, the vocals, here, are sung with gusto, giving the song a pretty dynamic feel. The melancholic piano keys are woven into the middle of the song, providing a somber riff to the piece.
“Queen Of The Night” contains the sounds of keys tracing the beginning of this track. The vocals give off a reverberating quality, pervading with a mysterious and haunting quality. With a great atmospheric and ambient feel, an electric guitar solo sounds off towards the end of this song.
“Epilogue” is a jazzy display of instrumentals made up entirely of piano, percussions, and drums. This jazzy groove shines with some great energy and happening rhythms and beats to move around to. Energized and up keyed, the amped appeal makes this a happening jam-session.
The Goldwyn Experiment's latest endeavor, Avenue B, definitely jumps from the speakers, standing apart from its other compatriots, as original, invigorating and authentic music.
With a refreshingly unique sound, The Goldwyn Experiment mixes in ambient cadences and a jazzy flair with rock ‘n’ roll. What directly comes across is a groovy blend that is truly chilling.
Goldwyn Thandrayen sings with flair and panache on this recording. Jam-packed with easy rhythms, great smooth beats, and a jiving feel-good atmosphere, each track is filled with a strong sense of urgency so what comes across is a piece of work on the radar as a magnetic masterpiece.
The great energy and polished sound is something everybody can enjoy.
The Goldwyn Experiment's Avenue B is due to be released November 2, 2018, so be sure to be on the lookout for the record.