July 7, 2016

LP: Brittle Brian - Verisune

Wander down the rabbit hole with Brittle Brian's Verisune.

Boston-based solo artist Brittle Brian crafts inventive, diary-esque songs that are emotionally aware and comforting in their obscurity. Each song feels like a momentary glimpse through the window of a dollhouse into the surreal rooms inside. Part of this feeling of gazing comes from the way Victoria Rose doles out imagery and brazenly invites her listeners into the fragile beauty of her world. Back in April, I saw Brittle Brian perform in a tightly packed basement show at Skidmore College. An enraptured room of college kids surrounded Rose as the glow of Pink Panther cartoons were projected in the background. She humorously confessed to the crowd, “This is my most emo song,” before diving onto the floor with her guitar in hand. Rose sang with a sincerity on “Devil,” a spooky song about growing up, death, and taking love advice from Daniel Johnston. After the show, I bought her tape Verisune, which I would later play on repeat from the sanctity of my bedroom.

While the tape was technically released back in July of last year, I often find myself returning to these songs, captivated by the way Brittle Brian wears her heart on her sleeve with deeply personal and reflective sentiments that are both open and aware. Brittle Brian's music feels like wandering down a familiar rabbit hole with warm vocal echoes and images that are beautifully dire. “Lizard Eyes” is a poignant portrayal of loneliness and navigating a space for creativity and growth within your solitude. Rose's acoustic strums are embellished by electronic warbles as she confesses, “I’m not scared of feeling ugly / I am scared of being lonely / But when I’m alone I make things to fill that hole.” Her voice rarely rises above a whisper as delicate melodies softly sink into your head. Brittle Brian's acoustic lullabies convey her desires, like when she sings, “I want to talk in poems with someone who won’t roll their eyes / I wanna talk in images / see pictures in my head.” In every song Victoria Rose shifts through her emotions and works through the daily conflicts that cloud her mind. “Hospittle” is quiet and sparse in nature and filled with soft tremblings and gentle reminders for the self to stay healthy. At times, Rose's voice mimics the whispered delivery of Girlpool with thoughtful reflections that seem to be pulled straight out of her journal. She reveals an infatuation over a “Plant Boy” with tender etchings and a desire to hang out at state parks and reservoirs as his only friend. In every song Brittle Brian confronts a mountain of conflicting feelings, and shifts through them for every nuance. She swoops into the sky and races across the ground, naming every desire in ways that never feel less than real. Verisune is an album that sounds best played late at night with ample time for reflection, as you drink tea and everyone else is snoozing in their beds.


Listen to Brittle Brian on bandcamp.

Abbie Jones, who will sing along to every Liz Phair song at karaoke by heart and is always down to get milkshakes past midnight. When she isn't writing about music, she is playing drums in her band or hosting shows in her backyard.