Music can be the great uniting element at the center of a multidimensional life, and in the case of rising star Brielle Brown’s sound, it’s a catalyst for expression well beyond what the western pop establishment has required from its stars for quite some time now. In her debut EP The Well, Brielle Brown explores folk-rock concepts that toe the line between hipster surrealisms and an ultra-cutting, retro melodic framework more in line with the old school than anything in modern times, and though hers is indeed an experimental take on the singer/songwriter model, it’s the most exciting I’ve personally encountered since Heran Soun’s Undeaf.
The larger narrative in The Well irrefutably relates to motherhood and the maturity that comes with entering a new phase in life, as Brown has said herself. “I never really thought before – what will I leave this world when I’m gone? Now it’s something I think about every day,” she recently remarked, and in this EP, the question echoes through the material without restraint. The notions of legacy and mortality are rarely touched on with the same bluntness I’ve noticed out of the majority of Americana-inspired players coming out of the New York underground in the past year, but that’s part of the rub here. Instead of confronting philosophical subject matter in the same way her contemporaries have, this artist is submitting a statement of self in this record and thus employing more straightforward and humbling poeticisms as one would when contemplating such matters internally, without the comfort of another voice in the room.
“Skylark’s Tune” is from Brielle Brown’s solo debut EP, The Well.Stream/download it here ffm.to/thewellepWritten & Performed by Brielle BrownLyric vi…
Emotion tends to be fluid on all fronts in The Well, but its presence – nor the bulk of its kick – is never isolated to the output we get from the vocal element exclusively. On the contrary, both the title track and “Let the Water” prove that Brown is as capable of expressing herself directly as she is spreading her communication out across an arrangement, or even simply shifting some of the weight over to the beat guiding the piano beside her. She doesn’t have an amateur disposition at any juncture of this tracklist, but instead the demeanor of a veteran songwriter who knows exactly the type of music she wants to produce.
Listen to Brielle Brown on Spotify. Artist · 70 monthly listeners.
Ambition defines the structure of this extended play more than anything else, but if you think you’re going to hear the familiar trappings of a rookie release in 2021 here, you really don’t have any idea what you’re in for with The Well. Brielle Brown is a name that I had only heard in the context of songwriting credits for the likes of The Voice’s DR King before coming in contact with this record for myself just a week ago, well ahead of its official release date this June, but if there’s a single artist you need to remember going into the latter half of this year, she’s it – and there’s no room for debate on this issue. Focused, postmodern, devoid of self-serving decadence, and yet stacked to the brim with a liberal dose of vibrant play from every one of its contributors, this isn’t just required listening for alternative music buffs right now; it’s a potential game-changer for the indie singer/songwriter circuit and the new era it will have the opportunity to overtake.
Videos by Gabriela Sibilska. Photography by Maria Wurtz.