Discovering this band was like the day I put jam on my cream cheese and bagel – 3 things that are amazing on their own, but even better together. Middle Brother blends styles of folk in the same way they have blended members of other bands. John McCauley of Deer Tick, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes and Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit have joined forces to make a band that has the same amazingness of my favourite breakfast.
You can hear the influence of folk’s past but there is an indie edge to them that keeps it refreshing. Some are slow and thoughtful and others full of intensity that could only be fuelled by whiskey.
I remember the first time I played the album I was walking to the bank from the bus stop. It was the first warm day of the year and the sun was out with a nice breeze. Even though the street was full of things to grab my attention – maybe the man that was praising the sun gods for this beautiful day or the woman who was pushing her cat in a baby buggy – the song started and right away I could envision myself in the song. Their lyrics are descriptive and with lines like ” Early in the morning too hung over to go back to sleep. Every sound is amplified, heavy lights so dizzying. Listen for a while to the neighbours having sex, wishing I could lay my aching head upon your breast.” My imagination brought me right to a cramped apartment with the sun shining onto my hungover face. We can all relate to what he’s saying, whether we’ve been there or not.
From “Daydreaming” this self-titled album goes into the hard driven “Blue Eyes”. This is where I knew I was hooked. It’s catchy and raw and at the 0:55 mark is where a little Jerry Lee Lewis piano comes in – a la “Great Balls of Fire”. You can’t go wrong with some added piano pizzaz. Yes, I just used the word pizzaz.
Middle Brother – Blue Eyes
[audio:http://www.monstersvsme.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/02-Blue-Eyes.mp3|titles= Blue Eyes]
Matt Vasquez takes the lead on the song “Theater” and I love his voice. Delta Spirit’s “My Dream” off of their Waits Room EPhas been one of my top songs since it came out late last year. I love how intense and sincere Matt’s voice is when he sings soft but I love the Neil Young quality he has when he gets louder. He has the same effortless, higher pitch you can here in Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”. Classic.
Middle Brother – Theater
Neil Young – Only Love Can Break Your Heart
[audio:http://www.monstersvsme.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Only-Love-Can-Break-Your-Heart-1.mp3|titles=Only Love Can Break Your Heart ]
I could go on about every song, but buy this album and listen for yourself. I loved that when I was finished this album I could immediately think of 10 friends who I knew would appreciate it. This is the kind of music that if you had it playing at your house, everyone would say “this is good, who is it?” no matter if it was your dad or hipster friend. You could be at home, at a cottage or on a road trip – Middle Brother will keep your toes tappin’.
They just played Canadian Music Week in Toronto, I couldn’t make it, but would love to hear about it if anyone went! Let me know what you think of these guys!