Premiere: The Dark Allure of Trevor James Tillery’s “Resolve (In Cold Blood)”

Trevor James Tillery © Cobey Arner
Sonically expansive and emotionally nuanced, Trevor James Tillery’s “Resolve (In Cold Blood)” is an emphatic self-assertion in the wake of religious denial and ignorance.

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Dark and brooding, Trevor James Tillery’s new single is an emphatic assertion of self in the wake of rejection and resistance. Ignorance isn’t bliss; it’s sad: And when you realize your community, or someone you cherish, can’t be swayed or opened to new ideas, then sometimes it’s best to move on without them. Sonically expansive and emotionally nuanced, “Resolve (In Cold Blood)” is Trevor James Tillery’s bitter parting of ways with one such home – not because he wants to leave, but because he has to.

Do you really care how I feel?
When the lights go out, its all I know
I will dissolve, I will dissolve
If you won’t resolve, you won’t resolve
“Resolve (In Cold Blood)” – Trevor James Tillery

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Resolve (In Cold Blood),” , the lead single off Trevor James Tillery’s upcoming Resolve_EP. Described by the artist as a “companion piece” to his well-received 2017 debut album Together. Alone., Resolve_EP offers a set of remixes and acoustic renditions of album tracks, in addition to the rand new titular single.

Resolve (In Cold Blood) - Trevor James Tillery

Resolve (In Cold Blood) – Trevor James Tillery

And I can’t go on
I can’t go on
I can’t keep up this front forever
Forever

In premiering the 2017 song “Immortalize” on Apple Music’s Beats 1 as a World First, Zane Lowe described Trevor James Tillery as “a brilliant new artist,” and indeed the label fits. Based in Nashville, Tennessee and only 28 years young, Tillery has called many places home, yet seems to still be striving for that one special space of understanding through his songs. Together. Alone., a collaborative effort with producer Joshua D. Niles (Van Soest), is an intimate, many-layered exploration of identity and belonging. Sexuality and gender come to the forefront thematically as Tillery douses his music in emotive synths and percussive beats. In soundscapes large and small, we find him valiantly striving to define and reimagine his surroundings – in other words, Tillery is making a home of his very own.

Resolve _EP - Trevor James Tillery

Resolve _EP – Trevor James Tillery

If any aspects of his debut were even the slightest bit veiled, Tillery sheds all doubt and doubles down on his conviction in “Resolve (In Cold Blood),” committing to himself in an assertive and emphatic, long-awaited release.

When the night blurs into the day
And the vultures circle the prey
Will you leave me here to rot out in cold blood?
In cold blood

“This song is an encore piece to my album Together. Alone,” Tillery tells Atwood Magazine. “I had originally written it on piano four or five years ago and it lived as an iPhone demo until I finally finished it earlier this year. Some songs just take a while to bake. My favorite thing to do is to build beats and dress up already written songs; it’s just way easier and less distracting than doing both at the same time. After I had built it up as much as I could on my own, I finished it out with Joshua D. Niles, whom I did the (album) T.A with.”

“Resolve,” as Tillery explains, is a reaction to closed-mindedness – in particular, lack of acceptance from religion. “At the time I was writing it, I was 26, and I had come out as gay a few months prior. Overall, the acceptance of my friends and family was all I could have hoped for. Accept for some of my Christian friends. Before all this, I was a Christian and was pretty involved in playing music at church. I started feeling a divide grow between us. It wasn’t outwardly hateful or anything. Just a quiet withdraw, really. Often, it would be after having a “you can still pray this thing away” conversation. After tirelessly explaining myself and my story and over, I finally withdrew myself as well. Lyrically, it is a bit resentful, honestly. I felt and still feel bitterness towards the church and organized religion to this day. Finishing this song, recording it, and putting it on this EP provides some closure for me and I’m ready to move forward.”

Do you really pray when you kneel?
A florescent cross, a blinding light
I will dissolve, I will dissolve
If we won’t resolve, we won’t resolve
And I can’t go on
I can’t go on
I can’t keep up this front forever
Forever

“Resolve (In Cold Blood)” is a self-empowered, self-embracing reaction to naïveté and ignorance. It’s the watershed moment of truth for a young man who believes acceptance shouldn’t come with a price; one should not conform their identity to another’s wishes in order to feel safe and secure in their community – their home. “Resolve (In Cold Blood)” therefore continues what Together. Alonestarted: Tillery’s search for his own place in the world. In order find that Eden, he has to come to terms with the fact that certain places can no longer be an option.

When the night blurs into the day
And the vultures circle the prey
Will you leave me here to rot out in cold blood?
In cold blood

Trevor James Tillery’s latest single is dark, melancholic, and bitter, but it’s also full of truth and confidence – stabilizing forces that, through the artist’s sheer vocal prowess and lyrical vulnerability, give the song a certain inner strength that is deeply alluring. Stream “Resolve (In Cold Blood)” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for more from Tillery as his journey pushes onward.

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Resolve EP - Trevor James Tillery

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📸 © Cobey Arner
EP Artwork © Nick DuPlessis
single art © Tillery, Nick DuPlessis

:: Trevor James Tillery ::

Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com