Review by Steve Boniface
The music industry absolutely loves to label artists and genres with glib, one word descriptions that make it easy for people to identify what they are talking about. If that doesn’t work, it’s also easy enough to call someone ‘the next blah blah blah blah’, a simple identifier that outlines what to expect. In the case of Brandy Buliay, these shortcuts are not available.
Pinning down the influences that went into creating this album is nigh on impossible – it’s entirely likely that what you hear when you listen will depend on your own musical taste. Pop fans will hear plenty here that’s similar to the Scissor Sisters in sound, but rock or folk fans will point to the rhythm section that lies underneath and name any number of alternative bands that may have influenced them. You could, I suppose, call it ‘electro-pop-indie-folk-rock’, but this is difficult to decode and goes nowhere near describing it.
The sound of the LP is laid out in the very first track, ‘After Dark’. Pop piano is joined by effects laden vocal that dominates throughout. Later though, the dramatic cross rhythms from the drums are heavier, and a pleasing juxtaposition to the early sections. Whether this mix of styles will draw you in or alienate you will depend on your preferences. One things for sure though – you won’t have heard a lot of music like this before.
Track two, ‘Feelin’ Like The Grass’, opens with banjo and a folk rhythm before transforming into electro-pop, while ‘In The Fall’ (track three) could easily form the sample from a mid-tempo hip-hop track. In total the album is only 32 minutes long but wrapped up in that time there’s almost too much to take in. There are sections that could be taken from David Bowie, and others from Muse. Sometimes it might even be better if the styles settled down to give the listener time to breathe, but overall it’s exactly this changeable nature that makes the release so listenable.
What Brandy Buliay has done then, is take a host of influences from multiple genres and mold them into a sound all of his own. This is a decent album, and it would be interesting to see how it translates to the stage as part of a live show. It also sets up the intriguing question – where can he go next?
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