Autumn has come to soon ? I’ve got a solution… a one album-trip to Australia. It’s been a while, since ‘To The Dogs or Whoever‘ blog has stopped bringing me its regular dose of Australian music, that I didn’t receive any input from the land down-under.
A moon on an album cover ; nothing more, nothing else, I was a click away to discover the most brilliant EP this year hold so far. Phillip Bracken is a young – at least in music, so few information is available about him on the net – a young singer from New South Wales.
Beyond the first calm acoustic tags emerging on a primary listening, this short (i’m just eagerly awaiting for a full length) but intense 5 tracks collection revealed a powerful and hypnotic songwriting. For sure, Phillip’s brilliant and unique vocal is a major instrument in this beauiful delivering. I’m also totally seduced by the beauty of his compositions : simple – pure – and perfectly arranged.
With songs format which are mostly exceeding the standard, this album is an invitation for a peaceful break… and so residing one of its prowess : peaceful and contemplative but you’ll be surprised murmuring on ‘The Boy and the Sickle’ and ‘Ishmael’ is simply irresistible for your hands to be clapped, foot-taping later – even dancing for sure ! Mesmerizing.
If you need comparisons, the likes of Ben Harper, Nick Drake, Doug Burr or Josh Garrels (for both evocative guitars and warm voice) could be cited. But be sure, you will find none of those afore mentioned listening to Phillip Bracken ; none of those, but a highly dose of unique emotions. Soon to be yours !
For a debut, it’s a monument ! Such a major act won’t be unpunished ; my curisoty, once again, pushed me to contact Phillip for an interview : an opportunity to discover this promising talent. Enjoy his music while reading his anwsers.
YCD : Hello Phillip, how’s it going down-under ?
Phillip Bracken : Really well. I’ve been living in a small coastal town for the last few months and I really like the energy here.
YCD : Before asking any further question, One is teasing my curisity : Tranquil Dwarf, what does it mean ?
Phillip Bracken : It was going to be a moniker until I decided that my own name was good enough. To abbreviate the story the name came from a t.v show. I adjusted it to give it more irony and I guess for something for me to hide behind as well.
YCD : Would you mind telling us your story about music ?
Phillip Bracken : I think we all have something we’re passionate about and that we feel a connection with. Music has always been the companion that accepts and understands all my moods. I’ve always enjoyed singing and writing as separate elements but I didn’t start taking guitar more seriously until a few years ago.
YCD : ‘Everything Looks Better in Candlelight’ is your first release. How did you finally decide to merge your songs into this dense collection and bring it to an audience ?
Phillip Bracken : I wanted something to help myself be heard, remembered after gigs but something more complete than a demo. I was introduced to an amazing musician named Peter Northcote who gave me a nudge. Initially I wanted to record more songs but Pete and a couple of others told me to be patient and just put out five. We recorded the ep in his studio.
YCD : I have played ‘The Boy and Sickle’ at least a hundred times in these last 15 days… what’s your recipe for creating such a flowing song ?
Phillip Bracken : That’s so great to hear. I’m not sure that I have a recipe or set method in the way I write. Sometimes the lyrics come first and at others it’s the music which was the scenario for this song. Finger-picking is also something that feels natural to me.
YCD : Suppose, that you have been condemned to spend a full year on an isolated island. Allowing to bring with you a single object which would you choose : a book or you guitar ?
Phillip Bracken : Tough one. Probably a book and I would create an instrument out of coconuts and banana leaves.
YCD : Is there a song you wish you had written ?
Phillip Bracken : I like the idea of going largely unnoticed and developing an underground following so something like Sugarman by Rodriguez.
YCD : If you could share a stage with any band or artist who would you choose and why ?
Phillip Bracken : Sigur Ros. I saw them play recently and they were completely absorbing as much to the eye as ear. They looked totally lost in their instruments and came across as quite humble and unassuming.
YCD : Any other projects for the coming months, a first full length ?
Phillip Bracken : I’m launching my ep in November in Sydney. Other than that I want to play more gigs and improve myself musically. I’d like to do a full-length at some point but it might still be a little way a way.