Just as the cover art for Brazos’ new album is a hodgepodge of watercolor swirls that evoke a whimsical feeling, the sounds captured within are just as lively, assorted and satisfying. The album starts measured and sweet building slowly with fervor and intense hypnotic qualities. Once you start listening, you become enraptured with the multiple piano, guitar and vocal elements that are used to create an interesting depth to their sound.
The musical influences Brazos could list are extensive. Notes of reggae drift over indie rock and have a threesome with folk that make for a pretty awesome orgy of sound. An orgy even more impressive due to the fact songwriter, Martin Crane, states all the songs were written within the span of a week. The album is impressive for the expanse of the texture of sound, and impressive because the beauty in the chaos sounds too perfect to be so quickly planned. Or perhaps this outstanding album is the results of shear talent, but whether happy accident or calculated genius, Brazos pulls together an album that is sunny, complicated, awkward at moments but mainly compelling.
Gently opening with tracks such as “The Observer” and “Avignon,” the poetic verses and soothing vocals are intoxicating. They suck you into the album until the fifth track, “Pues” which has piano keys solo dancing through the song and changing the album tone and pace. After “Pues,” the album takes a turn to stronger songs, strumming with strength and straight-ahead vocals. Not taking on enough diversity to create a solid division, but embracing the complexity of sound, Brazos creates an album that deserves nothing short of glowing reviews.
Words: Lori Bartlett