EP Review: Allman Brown - 'Bury My Heart'
We give Allman Brown's new EP 'Bury My Heart', a spin ahead of its release on March 16th, 2018.
Just over a year ago we fell in love with Allman Brown's evocative debut album. '1000 Years', so we're really excited to see him return with five new ethereal and intimate tracks on the familiar themes of love, loss, longing and loyalty.
The EP opens with its atmospheric title track, 'Bury My Heart', combining romanticism with macabre as Brown tackles the theme of dying with his greatest love by his side. Wishing for his heart to metaphorically be buried in all the places that mean the most to him, by the person with whom he shares his greatest love, which he believes will live on in the afterlife. As you can imagine, the track's production crawls with ghostly electronic flourishes, but its bass beat is solid, static and extremely ambient. This represents the consistency of the unwavering love in the lyrical theme, and interestingly, the outcome is feel-good, that hits with a mellow, danceable rush of relief.
'Moonlight' initially takes a little bit more of a stripped back approach, tender guitar riffs support Brown's honeyed, atmospheric vocals, before the track becomes increasingly more atmospheric and sentimental, putting a soundtrack to the idea of two souls intertwined and two hearts speaking to one another. The epic feeling of finding catharsis in unconditional and everlasting love lives here too. This is mirrored by a throbbing heartbeat rhythm pulsating through the song, alongside exploratory production that gives a very spiritual and dream-like feeling of connectivity.
'Now You're Gone' is also dreamy yet occasionally volatile, opening with pleasant finger-picking, the tone is sombre and there's a loneliness in the narrative. This is a song about loss and longing and the production plays with moments of softness alongside short yet dramatic crashes of anger and reverb-drenched screeches of upheaval. 'Wild' has more of an organic folk singer-songwriter feel, featuring beautiful harmonies with frequent collaborator Liz Lawrence lending her vocals. Arguably, this is the track on the EP that has the biggest link to Brown's earlier sound.
All tracks mentioned so far have been produced by Liz Lawrence, but closing track, 'Blues' sees the production of Ian Barter who mixed and mastered the entire EP. 'Blues' is a huge dark pop song with a bluesy omnipotence that links to the mood and tone of the opening track. However, this is a fight song, confidently executed, and closes the EP with purpose.
Overall, 'Bury My Heart' is a deeply innovative, impressive and impacting 5-track EP. Brown's lyrics take the every day scenarios and emotions that we tend to take for granted (or even fear so try to push them aside) and holds them under a microscope, showing their greatness. A greatness that is only further magnified by the devastatingly beautiful production 'Bury My Heart' is an otherworldly masterpiece and a lesson that no love should ever be treated as anything less than extraordinary, and no loss ever goes unnoticed.
Words of Karla Harris
Catch Allman Brown live at SXSW, dates at the bottom of the page!
Upcoming Tour Dates:
3/11 - Dallas, TX - Deep Ellum Art Co. (Skate or Die Fest)
3/13 - Austin, TX - Seven Grand (Reverb Nation x Killing Moon Live SXSW showcase, 8:15pm)
3/17 - Austin, TX - Barracuda (AGI x Xtra Mile Recordings SXSW showcase, 7:45pm)