Kirby Brown takes us into a new wave of Americana music with a mixture of success and failure.
Kirby Brown’s latest album, “Break into Blossom“, is an intimate and soothing record that uses a wonderful mixture of synths, pedal steel guitars, drum machines and baritone guitars. Whilst a record that has all the feelings of an Americana album, most notably in the excellent vocals of Brown, there are songs that you wouldn’t be surprised to hear in the Top 40 charts.
One of the singles from the album, ‘Dance Floor’, encapsulates this upbeat and synthetic vibe. A story about the feeling of meeting someone new and asking them every question in your mind, the vocals are the strongest part of the song, with Nikki Lane supplying some excellent harmonies with Kirby. This is something we are longing for more of in the future.
‘Nightingales‘ is the first track that is clearly Americana and shows Kirby’s Nashville songwriting roots. Combining his own synthetic sound with a calming and wonderful track that again showcases his excellent vocals, it is one of the stand-out tracks simply due to the grandeur that the synths are able to create with ease.
Brown’s style is extremely unique, as he uses this synthetic sound to create powerful pieces of music. His collaboration with Molly Parden in ‘Say It Ain’t So‘ is much more in a modern Taylor Swift vibe in comparison to anything we have heard before in the Americana industry.
The songs in the album have bits of deeper meaning as well, with ‘Spiders’ written after the murder of George Floyd and the cultural reckoning that spread across the US. The refrain of ‘some things just don’t change’ is extremely powerful as a reflection on modern society.
Overall, the album is an interesting look at a newer variety of Americana music. Synths aren’t to everyone’s tastes, but Brown’s take on them is well worth a listen.