Tuesday, August 14, 2007

These Are Golden Times

Brandon Schott Golden StateRight now in Des Moines, the heat index is a sweltering 103°. It has rained a bit over the past few days and the cruel joke of late summer rains is that they force my brown lawn out of its welcome dormancy. In other words, I have to mow. Now since we all live by our own personal soundtrack of life, there needs to be some perfect music to listen to as I attempt to cool down post-mowing during these dog days of summer. I'm not looking for an adrenalin-pusher here - it needs to offer a pleasant segue from a loud, dirty summer afternoon job to a warm, summer ale evening. Enter Brandon Schott...

Brandon's new album is called Golden State. In name alone you get that summer sun vibe. Musically, the album relentlessly chills you out with its nuanced melodies and meticulous songcraft. It's not going to hook you instantly and piledrive catchy tunes in your head. You now know where to go for that. I wouldn't go as far to say that Golden State is an acquired taste, but it ages quite well. If you're an impatient listener, as I tend to be at times, please give this one multiple tries. You might not hear it until the second or third go-round, but it's there, and you'll be glad you found it.

Brandon offers warm familiarity, particularly in his voice, which sonically falls somewhere in between Ben Folds (when he's not goofing) and David Grahame. In fact, throw in a bit of Duncan Sheik at his Drake-ish best, Josh Rouse's respect of a previous generation, Trash Can Sinatras' atmospherics, and Michael Penn's maturity and you'll soon discover this summer's other sophisticated pop gem.

Standouts for me include Beautiful Trainwreck, Beachwood, Release, Simple Life, and Golden State, the video of which is below. Yep, not counting the instrumental ditty that metaphorically separates the album "sides" from each other, that's half the album.

Find a hammock and load up your iPod because that Golden State will be welcome indeed. It's been available via iTunes for months, but some of you still get a buzz from that plastic, which you can find in stores today.

Official Site (thanks for the link, Brandon!)


UPDATE: The CD version is much more than just a plastic disc ... from Brandon:

The package was put together by my brilliant wife, Michelle, and is housed in an old school LP style package with a 16 page color booklet featuring full color artwork by our friends - some truly beautiful photographs and illustrations that I am honored to have compliment my music.

1 comment:

Oliver said...

It's a great album. He plays in Los Angeles a lot. Definitely recommend going out to see him.