Left: Photo of Lance Horne by Christian Campbell; Right: Photo of Drew Brody by Matthew Placek.
Earlier this summer, two of musical theater’s up-and-coming young composers, Lance Horne and Drew Brody, celebrated their debut recording together—the EP A Little Single—with an intimate, one-night-only concert at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York City. While the concert also boasted Beth Malone as a guest vocalist, the collection on the EP itself featured moving and deeply personal songs performed by the composers themselves.
With the eye-catching song title, “The Grindr Song,” the album is sure to pique the interest of gay men. But that doesn’t mean the EP is only for gay men. “I don't think that Lance and I were writing for a particular audience,” says Brody. “We just challenged ourselves to keep this album pretty personal, and write from our honest experiences.”
As the world grows more accepting of the LGBTQ community, Brody and Horne feel that all artists can write more authentically. “I remember 10 years ago writing a love song and getting pressure form the producers to change the pronouns away from the intention that I had for the song,” says Horne. “I'm really encouraged by the environment now that allows for expression and inclusion of pronouns as the singer sees fit.”
This brand of honesty allows the emotional appeal of the songs to reach beyond the confines of sexual orientation. “The Grindr Song,” which is a comedic send-up of the app, centers more on a need for people to think about how and what they say when protected by their digital avatars. “I think that people listening to it could insert the word Tinder, or Scruff, or any myriad of apps,” says Horne. Similar to the work of Noël Coward, the tune uses quriky word play to get its point across. “The song is good because it's funny, it's punny, and it's well-structured,” says Brody.
Horne and Brody’s show at Feinstein’s/54 Below focused on their songwriting, and the audience responded enthusiastically. “Someone told Drew that it felt like they were at a musical wedding,” says Horne. “The audience was listening for the songwriting, which is not something I'm used to,” says Brody. “I feel we really accomplished what we set up to achieve there.”
Yet, audiences aren’t the only people bowled over by the duo’s work. The celebrities that have had the pleasure of signing songs by the team also respond to the music with ardent fervor. “I love singing Lance's songs. I feel like they're me speaking, even though they are much more witty and poetic than I could ever be,” says Alan Cumming. “Lance's music is wholly his own. Sometimes complicated, sometimes witty, but always a joy to sing,” remarks Lea DeLaria. “Drew Brody tunes present a rare treat for singers,” says Beth Malone. “A seemingly effortless and brilliant marriage of content, character, and music. All this makes the singer seem brilliant, which we really find satisfying.”