Large Brush Collection – Better Be
Genre: Indie Folk
All the old rock biographies read the same. They’re all about ambitious people who decided making music was going to make them rich and famous. They all form bands, write songs, and then stop thinking too much about writing songs once they’ve become filthy rich. That’s not the goal that Large Brush Collection seem to be after. They sound like they’re making music because they can’t help it.
Sure, financial success and mass adoration wouldn’t be the kinds of things that most people would pass over. Still, there’s something gorgeous, and at one time rare, about making art for art’s sake. It’s strange to think that your next-door neighbour could write a great song while sipping coffee in your kitchen. We’re not used to marvellous poets doing their best work once they’ve landed home from their desk jobs.
Large Brush Collection’s “Better Be” is a beautifully innocent-sounding modern folk-pop sound. Very little of it is theatrical, or performative. There are gentle shades of jazz in the vocal melodies and the drum fills. There’s a hint of 90s Lilith Fair captured in the hook. These are subtleties that the band doesn’t concern themselves with trying to sell. It’s lowkey music with great, natural magnetism.
Esme White – Mother’s Ugly Angels
Genre: Folk, Americana
Modern pop stars are just perfect and absolutely useless and forgettable. They are everything that Esme White is not. The songwriter doesn’t even have to preach the merits of individualism. Judging by “Mother’s Ugly Angels,” the musician wouldn’t be able to walk into a straight line if it was drawn in red florescent on the sidewalk.
The age of true eccentrics seems to have come and gone. Many of us don’t even know how much we miss it. The music industry is somewhat aware of this. Considering how bland the personalities of their pop stars are, they have to give them nifty hobbies just so that they have something to discuss in interviews. But stare into their eyes for a few seconds, and you’ll be starring into an abyss of dull, unoriginal thoughts.
Esme White’s “Mother’s Ugly Angels” is a great piece of songwriting in which the author attempts to deal with our passion for both ugliness and beauty, as well as the idea that we ought to have been made in our Maker’s image. The aesthetics of the grotesque haven’t much been explored in pop music for a few decades. And when they have been, usually, they haven’t benefitted from a singing voice as pure and expressive as Esme White’s. “Mother’s Ugly Angels” is a great success and an invitation to keep following this artist’s evolution.