Releasing to the masses on an aptly chosen September 11th of this year, Brannon offer up a 13-track collection of acoustic rock ballads, and showcase undoubtedly passionate, powerful performances right the way through.
Everyday Heroes is indeed a purely acoustic album, featuring brilliantly bold yet expressive, raspy vocals from the two singers, and a crisp overall finish that allows this intimate setting to shine brightly at volume.
Throughout the playlist, the songs vary between that which is decidedly personal, and that which is a little more all-encompassing. In every case, the lyrics are incredibly inclusive, accessing those parts of our lives that feel isolating but are so commonly shared.
From the opener, I’m Alive, we’re gifted an immediate sense of brightness and optimism. This aura continues throughout, but not without relevant contrast – hints of realness, heartbreaking realities, truth.
The title-track Everyday Heroes is a fine example of an accessible declaration of gratitude, particular for this September release. Referencing the bravery of those who serve or live their lives under difficult circumstances, the song details the appreciation of the band and indeed the majority of listeners who are quietly thankful much of the time.
Elsewhere we get hints of individuality, personal turmoil – the harder parts of life, the days of struggle, but always Brannon seem to resolve this well with an energy-boosting hook that explodes into the room with uplifting brightness. The Best Of Me is a fine example, as are Let It Go and Ghost earlier on. The band have a notably genuine approach that lays bare hardship and still chooses to focus on optimism and hope, which, in turn, is inspiring to listen to.
Given that the set-up is purely vocals and guitar, unplugged by all accounts, there needs to be something about the performances or the writing that helps elevate the whole thing and keep an audience engaged throughout. Without question, that element here is the vocals.
Meandering effortlessly through a plethora of verses and melodies, leaning towards softness and weight intermittently with faultless accuracy and unwavering emotion, the vocals drive the underlying gratitude and loving nature of this project. You can hear that these songs mean something very real to Brannon, and that purity can’t be faked.
During the latter half of the album, Just You and I is a definite highlight. A new guitar rhythm, a touch of melancholy but a brilliant switch to overcoming, and an addictive melodic progression on the whole – it’s a beautiful song, with a slightly alternative vibe that really helps it stand out. Beautiful harmonies, heart felt and emotive, a tad reminiscent of Extreme’s More Than Words.
The loving sentiments and realness continue to intertwine throughout the next few songs. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, the songwriting sometimes reflects inner traumas and regrets, but all of this helps the music connect on a deeper, more authentic level. So Blind is a fine example. Then there’s the clear brightness and unity of With You, which contrasts beautifully for its celebratory color and positive energy.
Towards the end, On My Way is a definite melodic highlight, right before The Darkest Year brings things to a decidedly poignant yet still hopeful finish. Lyrics that connect in an instant, stunning vocals that reach powerful emotional peaks – a great way to go out.
An impressive album on the whole – not too many acts can perform their way through such an extensive collection with only a guitar as a guide. Beautifully done.
Album out Friday September 11th. Visit Brannon’s Website for more information.