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Jonathan Bree - A Little Night Music (2015)

17-02-2016, 13:01
Pop | Folk | Indie | FLAC / APE

Title: A Little Night Music
Year Of Release: 2015
Label: Lil' Chief Records
Genre: Chamber Pop, Indie Folk
Quality: FLAC
Total Time: 33:43
Total Size: 186 MB


01 Overture
02 Drones & Satellites
03 Time Will Tell
04 Blur
05 Once It Was Nice
06 Murder
07 Weird Hardcore
08 Prelude
09 Tear Your Face Off
10 There Is Sadness

While getting ready to work on his second solo album, Jonathan Bree was given a stack of old classical albums as a gift. Something about the sounds he heard on the ballet scores by Tchaikovsky, the orchestral suites by Grieg, and the music of Béla Bartók struck a chord inside him. His album, A Little Night Music, was informed by this new passion, giving his songs a newfound depth, both emotionally and musically. As a member of the great indie pop band the Brunettes, Bree was no stranger to writing catchy, sweet pop songs; here he attaches them to sparsely arranged, yet richly imagined sounds that dial back the sweetness in favor of resigned melancholy. With the help of a concert pianist, a string quartet, and New Zealand soprano Ella Smith, with some heavenly celeste and very little guitar, the album's songs are quiet and calm. The strings are a perfect match for Bree's deep, unadorned vocals, the occasional bursts of fortissimo (as on "Blur" or "Murder," which is one of the few songs to heavily feature guitars) are bracing, and despite the focus on arrangements there are still plenty of poppy melodies and shark-sized hooks. The swooningly good "Weird Hardcore" or the molasses-sticky, emotionally gripping "Time Will Tell" would both have been highlights on a Brunettes album. "Tear Your Face Off" is a brilliant slice of singer/songwriter noir balladry, and the rest of the songs are hard to shake in a good way, lodging themselves deep in the brain and heart. The overall feeling one takes away from the record is that Bree has found his voice as a solo artist. His first effort, 2013's The Primrose Path, was very good, but this is a huge step forward. The gravity of the feelings, the invention of the arrangements, and the high quality of the songs all show Bree to be operating in rarified territory, one that few other modern day singer/songwriters (Jens Lekman, for one) are able to access.

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