I just finished watching the video for “Familiar”, a visual release from singer/songwriter Dru Cutler and I’m having mixed feelings about it. The visuals are immaculate, I mean downright gorgeous, but the song, meh… it sounded a little too familiar (pun intended). I wish that the audio and video had the same impact but unfortunately this isn’t the case in this situation. I give it an A for effort though.
I came for the music, but I stayed for the video. Director Jaclyn Gramigna did an awesome job at capturing the right shots to compliment the song’s concept. Subtle lighting effects, dramatic close-ups and color grading all set the tone for Cutler’s words to come to life on the screen. This wasn’t just a “let’s grab a cam and make a video” type of shoot. This was a professionally constructed visual experience that focused on bringing out the best in the audio.
The song’s nostalgic concept was pretty smooth. I specifically liked the song’s percussion. They keys and drums were sequenced almost to perfection. My dilemma with Cutler’s record is solely its delivery. Cutler’s song sounds more like a remake of other Indie Rock tracks, not a creative interpolation. I’m all for injecting a splash of familiarity into a record to capitalize on our psychological need to relate things to each other (it worked successfully for Fifth Harmony’s almost blatant rip of Jason Derulo’s Talk Dirty). This is in no way a knock to Cutler’s vocal, songwriting or production skills. I listened to some of his other releases on his SoundCloud page which revealed that this guy has some serious chops.
Dru Cutler is a talented musician who has the potential to make a lot of noise in the industry; he just has to do more sonically to separate himself from his peers. This record didn’t do it for me, but it may very well appeal to the masses. One thing is for sure, I hope to see more collaboration between him and Gramigna. Together they created a solid video that I ultimately enjoyed. You should definitely check him out. Press play on the video and let me know your thoughts.