Home Song Reviews Trenton’s “Not Alone” is an Addictive Kind of Sadness

Trenton’s “Not Alone” is an Addictive Kind of Sadness

by Shawn Ambrose

Aristotle once said that you can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness.

He also hated it when his ex-girlfriends would change their number and cut him off.

Wait. Maybe that was Gotye. Anyway, the point still stands.

Trenton’s music is the kind of sadness you can get addicted to.

With his songs, you’re not drowning in a sea of melancholy but lying on the shore with the waves of his woe slowly washing over you.

Ryan Courntey, the sole member of Trenton, describes his sound as a blend of ambient textures and moody pop, and this is evident in his single “Not Alone”. In the song, Trenton explores the conflicting emotions you experience when you leave your hometown because of the painful memories it evokes.

The beauty of “Not Alone” lies in the simplicity of its instrumentation. The song begins with a basic but powerful chord progression on the piano. These simple unadorned chords play throughout most of the song, with the addition of synth and backing vocals in the chorus. The piano in the verses is played a little softer, lending a sense of poignancy to Trenton’s words.

Slowly making your way out of town
It hurts to tear fragile roots from the ground

Your attachment to your native place has slowly been eroded by unpleasant memories but it still hurts to leave a place that has become a part of you.

It’s alright to start over sometimes
To wipe the heartache and stinging from your eyes

Desiring change isn’t a bad thing. You may be stuck in a state of stagnation or rooted in a place that only reminds you of your painful experiences. This could be a dysfunctional family, an abusive relationship, or worse.

Turn these ashes to gold
(with the sunlight)
We’ll shape a life of our own

Seeking greener pastures entails new challenges, but it also offers an opportunity to build a new, better life from the ashes of your old one.

Ryan sings the verses with a quiet sadness. His voice is feeble and his words are choked with emotion, almost like it is too difficult to recount his ordeal. His voice then swells and soars in the chorus as he repeats the song’s thematic proclamation;

You’re not alone

You’ve left everything and everyone behind and now you’re all alone in a new town. Having moral support in this desolate period is crucial to surviving the start to your new life.

(Everything is new, nothing left to lose, daring and invincible)
You’re never alone
(Search beyond the sea, who you’re meant to be, image of a miracle)
You’re not alone
(A heart magnificent, feel your innocence, fading with the morning dew)
You’re never alone
(Facing the unknown, steady like a stone, darling we will make it through)

The atmospheric chorus is the high point of “Not Alone”. Ryan’s resounding voice brings substance to his words while the whispery backing vocals imbue the song with an ethereal quality. In the second chorus, the music swells with the addition of drums and a synth progression. It is so potent it is almost intoxicating.
Ryan empowers the listener with his words; you are daring and invincible. The obstacles you’ll overcome will help you shed your naivety and make you fearless and resolute. Leaving your old, troubled life and carving out a new one isn’t a fast track to happiness and security. You may feel like giving up before you even start. But as Trenton reassures us, when doubt creeps into your mind and panic runs through your bones, remember, you’re not alone.

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