Weighing out the conflict of interest — Brass Bed front man Christiaan Mader is a staff writer for this publication and did once pay me to build him a bench — against the impossibility of ignoring this record, here are my notes on Brass Bed’s In The Yellow Leaf. My unethical, unapologetic take is that Leaf is a tremendous record that doesn’t sound like it came from a small label, instead possessing a big city feel that will be reflected in music mags and sites across this land that don’t realize our paychecks come from the same purse. Take it with a grain of salt if you want or take it for what it is: a stellar indie record and likely the Acadiana release that will receive the most praise from far flung outlets this year.
● In The Yellow Leaf opens with “Maiden Voyage,” a dreamy song about drowning but is actually an allegory for religion
● There are repeated themes: acceptance of the unavoidable and nautical metaphors, maturing
● “I am Just a Whisper” is anything but; likely the most powerful, standout track on the record, it has a slightly muted pulse but builds to a near boil that is careful not to spill
● “Indie” covers most of what is happening here
● The band has evolved from indie pop with the slight alt-country twang of their early days
● Borderline melancholy at times, rising promises at others
● Mader and Johnny Campos paint smart, well-written poetry lyrically, grad-level stuff that challenges the listener
● Nice textures, abstract and vivid
● Lullabies (that keep you awake at night) for post-college 30-somethings
● Lulls you quietly, draws you in then builds to just the right hum
● Cashing drums on songs like “Be Anything” balance out the record’s dreamy quality and don’t let you slip in too deep.
● Growth and change and questioning throughout
● Getting older and realizing things are changing around them and that there is little they can do to stop it (or even an interest in doing so).
● Lush soundscapes for underwater love scenes in 1970s French spy movies that were never released