Walking the creative line somewhere between Jack Johnson and John Butler Trio, with an occasional and relevant dash of emotional turmoil, Brown Kid’s Rusty Strings offers up a six-track playlist full of thoughtful, personal and observational songs with a crisp and organic feel.
Welcome To My Funeral is the opener, the acoustic guitar sound is lush, the finish puts the performance right there in the room with you, and the gentle strum combined with the heartfelt, unusual story-line is what really stands out above all else. After this, La Farra sees the pace pick up a little, the rhythm is funkier, the vocal delivery is quicker, almost rap like, and the subject matter seems, for the most part, fit to simply set the scene for the good times to roll out. Early on you get a good balance between the heavy and the light, conceptually speaking.
Hole In The Wall is the first song with a particularly characterful riff and rhythm to it. Those rising lower notes break up the lyrical outbursts and create a memorable structure, and with that come effective levels of contrast – you pay attention to the lyrics because there’s so much space (colourful space at that) in between them. The mood is fairly calm, it’s matter-of-fact and laid back for the most part, leaning in a slightly more reflective direction as the song progresses.
Jamaicamecrazy brings through more of that summertime energy, the guitar part and the opening, lyric-less vocal part, soaked in reverb, create a fire-side feel. This entire EP in fact seems fit to accompanying nights spent down the beach with friends and with embers flying high. A quirkier side to the songwriter comes through more and more as time goes by, there’s a low-key, chilled out energy about much of it, and furthermore – you can hear the live sound. A gig from Brown Kid would most probably bring through precisely the sound you hear on this project.
The EP’s title track is perhaps the most interesting and unique of the collection. The detail surrounding the guitar and vocals adds additional layers of colour, bringing the song into Incubus-like territories. Lyrically as well, this song appeals for its deeply thoughtful and poetic approach to expression. A definite highlight and a piece that works to connect with those deeper parts of the soul – not merely seeking to entertain, but seeking to understand and simultaneously be understood. This vulnerability speaks volumes and underlines even more-so the strength and attraction of a song like this.
Complacency brings things to a smooth and mellow finish. The song feels distinctly in the moment, not caught up in regrets from the past or worries for the future – thus, perfectly encapsulating what it is to be complacent or content. Whatever thoughts the prior track may have conjured up, this one settles things back down again – leaving you feeling soothed, at ease with the world and your place within it. The lightness of the mood works well and you leave the project feeling as if everything will be OK. What’s not to like about that? An EP easily worth a listen in full.