Local music: Drusky's Cake & Absinthe | Music | Salt Lake City Weekly

Local music: Drusky's Cake & Absinthe 

Music to soothe the traumas and dramas of your inner teen

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  • Connor Reid
  • Drusky

There are few things that we can all collectively agree on as humans. We all have different experiences that shape us into who we are, and that makes us all unique. One thing most people could probably agree on, though, is that growing up ain't easy. The transition from adolescence into adulthood is fraught with emotion and hardships and just plain sucks at times. Music is often a uniter, making us feel like we're not so alone. If you are in such a phase, or you want to heal your inner teen a bit, Cake & Absinthe from local rockers Drusky is the album for you.

Drusky (pronounced druh-skee) has been on the scene for some time, and if you're a fan of alt/rock/emo sounds, you've probably heard some of their work or caught them at a show around town. If not, you better run, not walk, to listen to Drusky right now. They've been releasing music since 2019, leading up to their debut album that dropped in April, Cake & Absinthe. The band is happy the album is out, and it will serve as a stepping stone for future work.

"I think it's been really fun to finally have it out there just because we spent so long on it," said vocalist/guitarist Mia Hicken. "We were holding onto those songs for so long and we've been playing them live for a really long time, so it's nice to have them finally out there so people can know the words and sing along."

"It's nice to have the album officially out and available for anyone to listen to at any time," added bassist Elias Pratt. "Something kind of happens when something that you've held onto closely because you've been working on it and listening to it for a long time, but it changes when it's available to the world."

One may not have thought to pair their cake with absinthe, but Drusky named the album after writing the opening track, "Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder." "I just think there's an interesting juxtaposition between the two," Hicken said. "Cake is something that's sweet and innocent, and something you have as a child and as an adult. Then absinthe has just got this weird history to it," she said. "There's a lot of themes about growing up and maturing, but also looking back and having nostalgia or looking at how you've changed," Pratt added.

"Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder" simultaneously eases you into the album and makes you intrigued for what else is to come. It starts with a sweet recording from Hicken's great-grandparents, wishing her a happy birthday, and personal touches like these on an album add a whole other level to the authenticity of the work. It's another facet of their lives the artist makes listeners privy to, and it feels like you've been let in on a secret.

From there, the lyrics pull no punches and the music builds. "Classify my curdled courage / As a product of expired will / By design, my thoughts are ruthless / Smoke them out so they don't kill," Hicken sings. The album continues on with great tracks like "Big Halftime Show," "Tolerance" and "Religisticious"—there are honestly no bad songs on the album.

Cake & Absinthe feels so nostalgic, especially for the aging emo kids who listened to this type of music in spades growing up. It evokes a feeling like I'm a teen again, sitting in my room, feeling the weight of the world and believing that no one could possibly feel as bad as I do—but then the next song that comes on truly acknowledges those feelings, and suddenly the world is a little less dark.

That's not to say that the album is juvenile in any way—just the opposite, in fact. This is alt/emo rock for the modern day and for those who grew up listening and want something fresh. Drusky have an incredible energy, and now that this album is out, they know exactly what direction to go in from here.

"We want to work on maybe writing more of these songs just together as a band," Hicken said. Drusky also wants to narrow down specifics of a theme for a new album and make things more cohesive in terms of narrative. They love Cake & Absinthe, but "art is never finished, only abandoned," as the saying goes.

Their next releases will probably continue to be relatable to many, since that has happened a lot so far with Drusky's current library. "A lot of people comment on how they feel like the lyrics are relatable and, I'm sorry that they're relatable, because a lot of them are about hard times," Hicken said. "I think that even if you're experiencing doubts you can still turn it into something beautiful. You can even dance and scream too. Sometimes that's all you gotta do is scream and dance it out a little bit."

Cake & Absinthe is the perfect thing to put on when you need to dance and scream and get your feelings out. Your inner teen would want you to do that. Stream Cake & Absinthe wherever you get your music, and catch Drusky at shows this summer, including DIY Fest next month.

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About The Author

Emilee Atkinson

Emilee Atkinson

Ogden native Emilee Atkinson has spent her life obsessing over music and enjoying writing. Eventually, she decided to combine the two. She’s the current music editor of City Weekly.

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