Come Along, Pond (rickysbaby) wrote in celticsounds,
Come Along, Pond

  • Music:

Michael Brunnock

Michael Brunnock is my favorite new artist. You may know his work as the former front man of The Van Winkles and Little Palace. I recently reviewed his debut solo CD, So I Do, for CD Baby.

CD Baby's artist profile says:
Contemporary folk rock, lyrically charged, Neil Young meets ColdPlay on a bus while on vacation in Ireland. The bus driver plays the banjo.

Michael Brunnock was born in Ireland. He now lives in NYC.

"I tried potato picking, bartending, biochemistry, zoology, microbiology, math, and teaching math for a few years, cooking and bartending again. Tough ways to make a living I thought, when your heart is in music". "So I do" is new, to be released on June 10th 2007. I hope it makes me some money.

Otherwise I'll be cutting my nails and going back picking potatoes for Benji Dunne in Carnaross. Can you imagine? I have responsibilities ye know?

My previous records with Little Palace are available here and on itunes. Check out the reviews

Lots of love
Michael b

My review of his music follows:

One does not simply listen to a Michael Brunnock song – one experiences it. Michael Brunnock's songs, while pleasingly smooth and unobtrusive, somehow refuse to remain "background music," and they pull the listener in to their ephemeral existence. So it is with So I Do.

Mournful without being sad. Emotional without being "emo". Evocative without being self-indulgent.

I first heard "Fallen Leaves," about four months ago, and before the song was even complete, I knew that I had to become familiar with the entire music catalog of this artist whose name I did not yet know. More than a hundred listens later, "Fallen Leaves" is both completely ingrained in my mind and brand-new simultaneously. Each listen is as the first; the string solo employed in lieu of a bridge held me captive, and when the drums returned with brilliant force, I found myself struggling to catch the breath that I didn't even realize I was holding for the past four measures.

Michael Brunnock's performance is straight-forward and unassuming. However, don't be fool enough to dismiss this artist as a simple countryman; his lyrics reveal an intelligent and well-educated man behind his gentle melodies. Listen carefully and you will hear literary allusions, complex metaphors, and well-placed puns along with political commentary and disdain for mindless militancy.

"Little Boy Blue," perhaps the most political song in his repertoire, is also the most evocative. It employs strong imagery both lyrically and musically – one can almost picture the small orchestra backing him as he sings his complex simplicities.

"Dance to the Wind" is a beautiful piece which displays both Brunnock's impressive vocal diversity and his imaginative lyric writing; the anthropomorphic song is told from the point of view of a wise old tree in a tale reminiscent of Dr. Seuss's The Lorax.

Not to be dismissed as a minstrel, Brunnock pulls "Born Again" and "Niagara Falls" from up his sleeve, showing that he can rock with the best of them.

Jenna Nichols's backing vocals on "Man Overboard" and "Breastplate" both blend with and complement Brunnock's voice seamlessly. Nichols's airy vocals at the end of the penultimate of the original tunes somehow punctuate the mood of the album.

Michael Brunnock revamps "Secret," a powerful song from his days with Little Palace, to round out the CD, convincingly evidencing that he is fully capable as a solo artist.

One would be hard-pressed to find a more well-pieced collection of songs that satisfy both the spirit and the intellect. So I Do does so both humbly and almost with a shrug. Brunnock is not out to please anyone with his offering – it is clearly a labour of love.

Check him out on:
CD Baby
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