Brooks Thomas – Vocals That Sound Just Like Heaven
“Gravity”, the second single that the Bronx-based experimental pop band Brooks Thomas is sharing ahead of the release of their new album Poison (released September 21st).
Light and bright crystal clear vocals, Brooks Thomas breathes in and out pure emotions and soothing feelings, to the point you’d forget the weight of « Gravity ». Their music feels like Heaven.
The video beautifully introduces the band and its colorful world. Harmonies, overwelming keyboard in the background, electronic drums… everything is set up for a surrealist experiment.
Brooks Thomas concocts unconventional hazy electronic R&B that’s inspired by classic soul and artists like Dirty Projectors and Miguel – disparate influences that share a common thread: intensity of feeling. Exploring new ways to reach those emotional heights, producer Danny McDonald began programming beats and pushing their bassist Rocky Russo towards experimenting with pedals to change the textures, along with having their dual singers Colleen Cadogan and Arianne Lombardi create three-part harmonies that deviate from the standard 1-3-5.
What they recorded at home became a script for their live performances, where fresh colors and depths would be discovered as they translated the digital maelstrom into an organic setting. Those recordings would then get re-digitized, spliced together and warped as Danny reworked the production. Poison’s opener « Fade In » for example, features the live recording of an old song Colleen wrote about Danny played backwards over a reversed saxophone sample. It ends with harmonies pulled from the penultimate song, « Gravity », unintelligible in their manipulations. All of it lives as a creative feedback loop, the recordings affecting the live show affecting the recordings.
Life was affecting the music too, of course, but not in a way Danny nor Colleen were conscious of. Though they weren’t aware of it yet, these songs were about the end of their romantic relationship. Drugs and alcohol mixed with denial to shield the musicians from the truth of their own work. However, getting to share that dissolution with their bandmates in such intimate fashion has only strengthened them as a band. Together, Brooks Thomas has taken everything from their uptown world — their helter-skelter neighborhood, the flowing alcohol, their sundry influences, the prolonged heartbreak — and distilled it into Poison.