With a gentle, yet commanding diction and a voice that recalls a less-sinister Brian Molko (Placebo), Chicago singer/songwriter Troy Petty is making a strong case for being one of area's most dynamic performers. On the upcoming full-length Fairy Tale Pen, his baroque delivery and impressive string work give a sense of timelessness to cuts like "Bloom," the Jeff Buckley-esque "I WIll Miss You This Halloween," hypnotic opener "Down Time" and the forlorn title track, as Petty finds solace in the songwriting process. "(It's) a song that helped me through a lot of inner struggles with confidence as an artist," says Petty. "(It's) about how I wouldn't change who I've become, and how my art has saved my life several times... I've tried to not do my art, and that never worked out."
Petty's music journey has led him through several bands and projects, and he scored some recognition from Chicago Magazine and area critic Jim DeRogatis back in 2001 for So The Past Shall Pass. 2005 brought the double-album Gemini, where Petty split his electric and acoustic sides between the two discs. He's been busy with new records and other projects since, but one can hear that he's reached a new high with Pen's disarming, humble approach.
Though Petty's craftsmanship and chops stand tall solo on Fairy Tale Pen, lush atmospherics and earthy drums serve sincere purposes throughout. "It was tough at first to choose whether or not I wanted percussion at all on the album," admits Petty. "On past albums or even at live performances, I would choose a setlist that would start bigger, then by the middle it would drop into a deep place sonically to take the listener further into my world. I think I ended up doing it a little bit differently on Fairy Tale Pen. I didn't want the album to lose any sonic importance. I'm really happy with the final arrangements."