Brik remind us of Kate Bush, not just for the voice, which is not quite as squeaky but is Bushesque, but for the variety of the sounds she produces. And for the way her biography is casually littered with celebs.
Just like Bush, who had a family friend who knew David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame (as you do), Brik was mentored by Allen Ginsberg and journalist John Steinbeck Jr. She joined a young artist’s troupe on Francis Ford Coppola’s lot at Zoetrope, with such people as Ed Harris and Sam Shepard. Peter Gabriel discovered her demo tape, which led to a deal with Geffen Records with Andy Gill (Gang of Four) producing.
She now lives in Scotland, near Troon, and the lyrics are based around a series of interviews with an inventor and a lifeboat captain.
Early singles aside, we were never massive fans of Kate Bush and Brik leaves us similarly (mostly) unmoved. She’s less theatrical than Bush and the music is more downbeat and folk-based. It’s certainly got a charm and in places is quite beguiling. However, as it’s mainly a vehicle for her vocals and lyrics, it lacks a little cohesion. We’ve struggled to get a handle on it, like she gathered together a series of ideas but with no central focus.
Opener Nothing Too Much has ponderous verses with bass marching slowly under her vocals but a livelier chorus. Rather like the album, it doesn’t seem to have a solid core, but it’s all very nice and even soulful in places, and the last 30 seconds, where a violin closes the song, are almost catchy. Here Comes The Lover sounds very 80s, with bright production and breathy vocals. The album doesn’t lack charm: Belly is good, a slow and intimate song (and Folk Radio UK’s “breath-taking” one-time song of the day), and we quite like closer Coffin Ships, an arty take on a sea shanty.
Out on Itza Music.