“We stick together, and things keep getting better” sings Travis Bretzer on the opening verse of ‘Lady Red’, the second single from his debut album Waxing Romantic. It’s the kind of sentiment that Waxing Romantic is full of – classic-sounding pop wrapped up in simple lyrical packages. There’s a particularly sophisticated streak in ‘Lady Red’ that wasn’t heard on Travis’ debut EP – the peppy bass line, synth sparkles and arrangement give the song a mature and polished feel.

Recorded at Gary’s Electric in Brooklyn under producer Jorge Elbrecht (Haunted Graffiti, Lansing-Dreiden), Waxing Romantic has a warm pop sensibility. It features a solid crew of players, including members of Haunted Graffiti, James Richardson of MGMT and Regal Degal’s Josh da Costa. The record was partly inspired from memories of rifling through Travis’ parents’ soft-rock LPs: think Gerry Rafferty, Al Stewart, Christopher Cross, The Eagles. In keeping with the album’s ‘70s pop mode, the lyrics are kept simple and sweet, but never cloying.

Since the release of his debut EP Making Love on the well-revered Brooklyn label Mexican Summer in 2013, Travis has found firm support from BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne and XFM’s John Kennedy, who invited him to record an X-Posure session during his debut visit to the UK.

Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, 25-year-old Canadian Bretzer has an appropriately singular, off-beat take on guitar pop. An adroit songwriter and true troubadour, Travis sidesteps easy pigeonholing.

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Xsnoize Author
Mark Millar is the founder of XS Noize and looks after the daily running of the website as well as conducting interviews for the XS Noize Podcast. Mark's favourite album is Achtung Baby by U2.

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