Trevor Daniel & The Reef

Waa Gwaan Oregafam?! How you livin’? Hope everyone is enjoying this maad sick heatwave lately. Fear not mi bruddas an’ sistas, ‘cuz I’ve got some cool tracks for you to simmer down with this week. Oregano Records’ artist, Virginia Beach’s own Trevor Daniel & The REEF recently released a new album and it’s a dash of sweet water jams for all the kettle heads and hippie hitters out there. The new album is a calm wave of red, gold, and green that will lift you up and coat your senses like Herb and Mary’s special sauce! As a reggae-lovin’, knotty haired naturalist myself, this release excites me like an 8 year old kid on Christmas morning. But this ain’t no mistletoe we’re burning… it’s way sweeter! And better yet, the album is so delightful it doesn’t even need a name. That’s right, it’s a self-titled splash of reefer madness bound to give your ears a tickle and pop your palette like a fat juicy pickle! So without further introduction, step ‘pon mi yaad, and let’s hold a vibe wit some real nice chunes!

The album cracks open like a beer, with held back energy that feels like it’s been waiting to be consumed. A perfectly potent intro, enough to keep you on your seat and tingle your toes with tenacity. The guitars are tight, the drums are tapping with tension, and the bass is bringing the bigness to inform you that this album is not to be taken lightly… no pun intended.

But like fya and wata, when you least expect it, the cool crisp reggae hits and brings us to the beach for some island vibes. “What You Think” starts with a bang and feeds your brain wit the chillest and illest feels like that first sip of fine genuine Hennessy. Ahh… now we’re jammin’ baby! Trevor starts crooning, the backing vocals harmonize like white smoke in a black room, and it’s a wave of sensation that rules the nation… with this version! So grab your longboards, dread up them locks, roll up a big one, and chill wit it! Oh, and I give the OregaStamp of approval to the absolutely massive guitar solo, straight from shred town complete with reverb and distortion alike that shakes your shakas and rattles your rump! As the chorus line goes, based on the reggae vibe in the early part of the song, this slam bam ending is definitely “not what you think!"

Next up is “Summertime” - a cool easy jam perfect for a leisurely ride to the shore, or a backyard BBQ with some close buddies. Nothing captures the optimistic feeling of the summer months like a nice relaxing melody, and The REEF really captured the essence on this one. Gather ‘round the fire pit with your guitar and some egg shakers while passing the dutchie ‘pon your left hand side during this track, and you’ll truly feel the elation that summer brings to soothe your soul and fill your heart with passion.

Let’s kick it on that cloud for a minute and feel the light, airy, full bodied effect of this next joint - “Come Around.” This jam is sweet right from the get-go, with big bouncy chords and an eerie buildup that gently transports us from outer space jam city to collie herb verse-town and back again. As the chorus line states, and as I fully agree, "I don’t know why” this song "took so long to come around.”

Now let me ask, are you feeling The REEF yet? If you made it this far chances are it hit you strong, but let’s come down briefly for “Black House” - a folky reggae number about being happy with the fortunes around you and feeling optimistic about the future. The song begins with Trevor singing softly and strumming his acoustic guitar before the rest of the band joins in, keeping with the carefree feeling like a steady moving train. The lyrics are important for us all too, as Trevor sings about being content with his life and showing appreciation for what he’s got. Not to mention, there’s a totally trippy musical interlude halfway through the song that highlights the message of “peace and harmony."

Trevor Daniel & The REEF connects us with their more sophisticated side on “Survivor” - a smooth funkin’ banger for the chill and the restless. Heads up! This is a groovy little diddy with a delightfully eclectic chord progression bound to perk up your ear hairs and take 'em to flavor town! I must say, rhythmically this song is a slight diversion from the rest of the release and it provides an eager foreshadow to what we can expect for the remainder of the playlist. Although the song may seem a bit different than the others, there is one consistent stylistic trait that I am super fond of. When Trevor reaches for his high notes, his voice creates a crackling, smoky, yet sultry smooth effect that pulls the hairs on your neck and moves your feet across the deck. Wicked!

And what would a reggae album be without an ode to the OG mama Mary? Yes I’m talking about the green lady herself, the kush we push ‘pon the world and back. If you’re not hopping on the crop I be dropping… simply put, I mean CANNABIS! Yes I do declare that this next chune will tell ya where to get it, and “Who’s Got de Ganja?” will tell ya who to ask for when ya get there! Not to mention, the vibe is cooler than a fridge in a freezer! If you haven’t fired up the pachouli incense and sprawled out like a potato salad on your couch just yet, right now would be the ideal time to get the mood right… now stop hoggin' the bong Cheech! Let’s light this joint!

As the first two thirds of the album contain laid-back energy, we take a friendly detour with “Everything I Need” - a fun, upbeat reggae song about being in love and living a fulfilling life with the one you care deepest for. One thing I would like to highlight here is the sonic quality of the music. In contrast to the rest of the release, this track features bright uplifting keyboards, sweet horn melodies, and a thick, fat rhythm section ripe for your feet to flap with. Grab your lover and bounce with The REEF, because that’s truly “Everything” you need!

We continue on the path of new ventures, with “Whole Lotta Love” - and boy do I have a whole lot of it for this one. The wailin’ organ, the rockin’ ride rhythm, and the bright brass strings that cut through like a hot knife on warm butter all make this song shine and smack like lipgloss on a lightning rod. While the beginning of the album is reggae and hard rock, this one keeps the reggae spine but features a light rock body that pairs perfectly with the mellow message.

And finally, we close out this sensi-soaked saga with “That’s What She Said.” Just like the previous track, this one is a light rock groove that still manages to sprinkle in The REEF’s trademark reggae sound. We can tell that Trevor was definitely aiming to push the music in another direction here, and he has truly succeeded. As this is the last song, we are left to wonder what we can expect from The REEF’s future releases…

Overall, this album is a beautiful break from reality with a plethora of moods all centered around love, positivity, respect, and herbal remedies! The rhythms are tight, the melodies are sweet, and the message is organic. This relaxing release is great for any occasion, and can be enjoyed by all types of folks from all different strokes. Lock it on repeat, and let's keep a lookout for more music coming from Trevor Daniel & The REEF!

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-Mike Oregano 🌿
Oregano Entertainment Network, Oregano Records


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