What does it mean to be an “alternative” artist? Different people will give you different answers, but to the New Jersey local, Tyler Drama, it means freedom of expression. Not boxing yourself in, and simply creating what you feel like creating. That’s the kind of artist Tyler Drama is; not overly attached to portraying a particular image or maintaining expectations, just looking to create music that is expressive and real. Drama’s latest release, “BLOOD ON JACKIE’S JACKET”, may or may not fall in line with your own understanding of “alternative music”, but that doesn’t matter. BOJJ is an electric track, riddled with complexity and meaning, that can stand alone as what it is. Lyrically, Tyler Drama’s latest tells the story of a young woman and her emotional hardships, her depression and external pressures. However, this track takes you beyond just that, into a dense field of unhindered emotion. The complexity of this narrative resides in the listener’s own inference; sometimes the strongest messages and most powerful sentiments stem from our own experiences, the dots we connect in our head to construct something meaningful.
Tyler Drama, being a true expressionistic artist, makes all kinds of music. His artistic output is not determined or limited by any singular influence or binding archetype. That in mind, “BLOOD OF JACKIE’S JACKET” is a track that bends expectations, even for an artist as diverse as Drama. The song begins with pop-ish undertones; emotional vocals and electronic drum loops. However, it quickly transforms into a dense soundscape of blaring guitar chords, rapid drum hits, and pitched-up backing vocals (“yeah yeah yeah”). This intense wave of energy coalesces into something truly special, an emotion that is hard to put into words. My first instinct as a listener is anger but I have settled on something resembling frustrated sympathy. It’s fair to say that this is a challenging track. Difficult to quantify and difficult to grip from a relatability standpoint. My lasting impression, after racking my brain trying to explain this song to you, is that “BLOOD ON JACKIE’S JACKET” is something you simply must hear for yourself. If you choose to do so, be prepared for an intense listening experience and don’t be surprised if you find yourself listening to this track on repeat.