Appearing out of a misty silence following the introductory track “Concrete Stars,” we discover shades of a gorgeous melodic color that will only evolve with greater depth as we listen on. There are no synthetics in the mix, and yet it’s as though we’re listening to music constructed out of elements both too pure and too perfect to be from anything organic in this universe. This is the title track in Brielle Brown’s new EP The Well, and it doesn’t take much more than a casual listening session with this song to understand why a lot of music enthusiasts have been getting excited about the arrival of its parent record this coming June. Brown’s lack of hesitation is eclipsed only by her prowess around the recording studio, which comes to her like a God-given gift in every performance here.
The string section in “Let the Water,” “She’s Come to Sing” and “Concrete Stars” delivers a lot of charisma even without the addition of lyrics or this singer’s unbelievably smooth vocal, but when it’s matched together with the two anyway, fireworks ensue. It’s tough for anything in this EP to compete with the presence of Brown’s crooning, but the fact that so much of the instrumentation was able to convey as passionate a feeling to listeners as it was in these tracks really tells us a lot about the standard she has as a songwriter and performer. Nothing here is done halfway, but instead made to be full-bodied and as far away from filler as we can get.
Tension is made to expand through the tempo we find in “Skylark’s Tune” and “This Time Around” as well as the title cut in The Well, and it’s through subtler details like this that I think our leading woman is able to establish herself as the intricacy-oriented player we need out of alternative folk-rock in 2021. There’s no ego in this work, only a readiness to put herself out there poetically and melodically, with little fear about what she’s going to get from the audience in return. Her confidence is inspiring, but perhaps not as much as her originality and songwriting moxie, the latter of which is becoming pretty hard to find no matter where you look in the modern music industry.
I cannot wait to hear and see what comes next for Brielle Brown following the release of The Well this coming June, and if my gut is right I think some of its songs – namely “Concrete Stars,” “She’s Come to Sing” and “Let the Water” – are going to find themselves a home in the college radio sphere a lot sooner than later. Brown has the stylishness this generation needs to believe in the singer/songwriter genre the way those who came before them did, and through the music she shares with us on The Well, she makes it pretty hard to debate her credibility as a contemporary solution to the commerciality and overall mainstream mundanity that has polluted the FM dial in recent years.
Video by Gabriela Sibilska. Photography by Maria Wurtz.