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CD Review: Bird Streets S/T

Bird Streets is the latest project for John Brodeur. John Brodeur of the band Bird Streets is a New York-based singer-songwriter who has spent the last twenty years as basically a one-man band, creating several albums of Indie Rock. However, it’s been quite a while since Brodeur released an album of music. The last release to come from Brodeur came out in 2013 and that album was called Little Hopes. That album of music showed off Brodeur’s ability to write different styles of music and ended up being one of his strongest solo albums.

Cut to five years later and a new album from Brodeur was created. But this particular release was slightly different from what had come before.

Right around the time he was wrapping up production on the Little Hopes album, John Brodeur found himself looking to create something new. This time, however, he decided not to go it alone. Brodeur got in contact with multi-faceted artist Jason Faulkner and talked Faulkner into helping him produce the music for a new venture. The result is a musical project known as Bird Streets, a moniker that came from a section of the area known as the Hollywood Hills. Brodeur spent time in both 2014 and 2016 working alongside Faulkner during which time they created the debut album for Bird Streets. The self-titled debut release from Bird Streets was released in 2018.

Touring version of Bird Streets

The self-titled debut release from Bird Streets begins with the track “Carry Me”. The lead-off track finds John Brodeur in more of a Rock and Roll frame of mind than the usual Pop-Rock one would usually find on his solo albums.  With this track, the musical ensemble creates a moment that feels as if it would have been right at home on Alternative Rock radio back in the nineties. “Carry Me” contains strong guitar riffs and a strong bassline to create a sound that creates a sound that takes the listener back in time. You could easily imagine this track playing alongside tracks from Weezer or even Better Than Ezra.

The track called “Betting on the Sun” continues the new release. This track brings back some of the Pop-Rock feel that usually accompany Brodeur’s music. The slightly lighter approach of the track feels like a mix of nineties Alternative Rock and the Lite Rock from the seventies. The combination on the track creates one of the most commercial songs on the self-titled debut release from Bird Streets.

The self-titled release from Bird Streets continues with the track off the release that is the current single. The song “Direction” combines elements of Nineties’ Alternative Rock and today’s musical feel. “Direction” feels like something that could have actually come from the band Weezer with some of John Brodeur’s influence thrown into the mix. The track easily ends up being one of the most commercial tracks on the new release from Bird Streets.

The first thirty seconds of the song “Spaceship” features only the sound of John Brodeur and his acoustic guitar creating a quiet moment that brings to mind the feel of sixties Folk music. But after that initial thirty seconds the song, other instruments are incorporated to create a slow-paced track with a rather mellow musical direction. As Bird Streets IS a band that takes Brodeur’s music and gives it a slightly different feel than if Brodeur had created the music on his own, it should come as no surprise that some of the tracks on the self-titled album from Bird Streets would feel as if they Brodeur’s songs. In fact, you could almost imagine “Spaceship” having been created for Brodeur’s last release called Little Hopes.   

Speaking of creating a track with John Brodeur’s style to it, “Stop to Breathe” is yet another track from Bird Streets that feels as if it had been a solo piece. Like the piece before it, “Stop to Breathe” feels as if you could have encountered it on an earlier album from Brodeur.  In fact, the track would have felt right at home among the songs that had made up Brodeur’s 2009 release called Get Through. The slow pace to the Alternative Rock track gives the song an overly relaxed feel, but the electric guitars on the six-minute track keep it from feeling boring.

John Brodeur once again calls upon the influence of the music of the nineties for the track “Thanks for Calling”. The Alternative feel of the track would place the track firmly alongside Weezer, Better Than Ezra and other bands like them.  “Thanks for Calling” brings so much Alternative Rock feel of the nineties that you can hear the influence from a song like “Buddy Holly” from Weezer in the music of the track. For those who miss the nineties, this track does a good job of recalling the music of that time period.

For fans of the music of John Brodeur, there are several spots on the self-titled debut release from Bird Streets where Brodeur’s style shines through loud and clear, much like on earlier tracks like “Stop to Breathe”. Another moment on this album where the unmistakable feel of John Brodeur’s writing comes through clearly is on the song “Heal”. The main reason for that is because of the lyrical content of the track. Lines like “How Am I Supposed to Heal when this Medication isn’t Real?” make it absolutely clear that this is a John Brodeur song.

Currently, Bird Streets is promoting their latest single entitled “Pretty Bones”.  The track features a light touch to the music as the track begins with an acoustic guitar and John Brodeur’s vocals. While continuing to contains a rather laidback feel to the music, the track builds over the length of the track and eventually, the track’s musical approach brings to mind a combination of Folk-Rock influences and Indie Rock influences. The track’s low-key feel still contains a very listener-friendly sound.

As you make your way through the various tracks that make up the self-titled debut release from Bird Streets, there is plenty on the album to keep fans of John Brodeur happy. Plus, the inclusion of Jason Faulkner helps add new dimensions to his music that weren’t there before. Together, John Brodeur and Jason Faulkner create an album that fans of the eighties, nineties and today will truly enjoy as influences from all of those decades help to shape the music of this release. 

 

For more information, check out Bird Streets’ label, Omnivore Recordings

For a taste of the self-titled debut release from Bird Streets, check out the single “Pretty Bones”. 

For the self-titled album from Bird Streets, click on the album cover below: 

 

 

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CD Review: Fanny Walks the Earth

It was back in the seventies that four young women came together to form a band that would help to create a style of Rock and Roll now known by the phrase Chick Rock. The band in question was known as Fanny. The band consisted of Jean Millington (today known as Jean Millington Adamian) – bass / vocals, June Millington – guitar / vocals, Alice de Buhr: drums, vocals (later to be replaced by Brie Darling – drums/vocals), and Nickey Barclay on keyboards. What resulted was a band unlike anything ever conceived by anyone before- a band where every note was written and performed by women. A band that would go on to influence plenty of bands like Bananarama, The Go-Gos, The Bangles and others.

As a group, Fanny would leave their mark on the music industry by initially releasing five albums including: Fanny (1970)Charity Ball (1971)[43]Fanny Hill (1972)[45] (No. 135)[44,] Mother’s Pride (1973)[6] and Rock and Roll Survivors (1974)[46]. Several decades later, the band would release a few albums that would include a live release as well as a box set of their music.

Fanny, now a trio consisting of Jean Millington Adamian) – bass / vocals, June Millington – guitar / vocals, Brie Darling – drums/vocals), has recently returned with a brand new album of music. With the smaller lineup, however, comes a new moniker. The band now calls itself Fanny Walks the Earth. And it is under this moniker that band has released their latest album. The band put out their self-titled album in mid-2018.

The self-titled album from Fanny Walks the Earth begins with the leadoff single of the album, “Lured Away”. The track features a strong Classic Rock vibe that, of course, comes from being in the industry long enough to see the style of the band move from the Modern Rock genre to Classic Rock simply because of the passage of time. To give the listener some point of reference, the music for “Lured Away” seems to feel influenced by the likes of seventies-era Aerosmith with some modern influence as well. The vocals on the track bring to mind the style of Kim Carnes. “Lured Away” is the type of track that would feel as much at home on Modern Rock radio as it would on Classic Rock stations.

Fanny Walks the Earth’s new album continues with the song “When We Need Her”. The track sings of women who answer the call when things need to be done in order to keep the momentum going in the fight for equality. “When We Need Her” is an anthem of sorts that brings to mind the early days of Fanny’s existence when the band was grouped in with the feminist movement mainly because of the fact that the band was strictly female. While the first track of the album feels rather retro in its Classic Rock musical delivery, this track feels more like something from the nineties as the track recalls artists like Sheryl Crow and/or Michelle Branch. In fact, “When We Need Her” sort of recalls Carlos Santana’s “Game of Love” with Branch.

With the next track on the release, the band of Fanny Walks the Earth creates a theme song of sorts. The lyrics to “Walk the Earth” seem to suggest the various accomplishments of the band and the women in it. Truth be told, maybe the song is simply about the feminist movement. Either way, the lyrics of the track tell of what has been done as women have walked the Earth, making waves as they went. The music of the track recall the style of band such as Redbone (of “Come and Get Your Love” fame) as the song has a slight Native influence to the music. The track also seems to recall “Witchy Woman” from The Eagles.

Staying in the same sort of vein as the previous track, “Girls on the Road” is yet another track that deals with the history and past of the band that had been known as Fanny. This track finds the ladies reminiscing about the early days of the band and how the band had come to be. The lyrics also recall everything that was going on around them in the era of the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement.

As the original band of Fanny had its origins within the sixties, it should come as no surprise that the current version of Fanny Walks the Earth would keep with many of the same ideals that the original version of the band had. With the track “One,” the band creates a track that features lyrics about unity for all. The track brings the spirit of the sixties into modern times. One of the most interesting parts of the track is the “One Heart, One Mind, One Love, One is the Number” chant that happens in the song.

One of the more unusual moments of the self-titled release from Fanny Walks the Earth is the track “Not My Monkey”. Taken from the Polish proverb “Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys,” the band comments on the sad state of human nature today as there are a lot of people who don’t seem to know what they’re doing. While the band creates a stinging statement with this track, it also creates one of the more entertaining moments on the release.

Things change directions on the very next track. The song “Cool Girl” features a Soft Rock approach to the music that would have been right at home on AM radio back in the seventies. The vocals on the track bring to mind vocalists such as Helen Reddy or Carly Simon. For those who miss the easy sounds of the seventies, “Cool Girl” is just what you’re looking for.

Fanny Walks the Earth’s self-titled album contains eleven tracks that ultimately feel like a throwback to yesterday. While some of the songs on the release have a more modern feel to them, most of the songs contain a strong retro vibe to them. But that retro vibe is not necessarily a bad thing as the vibe the music contains comes from an era where the music had creativity to it. Having been around since the late sixties, the ladies in Fanny Walks the Earth prove they still have it on this new release.  

 

For more information, check out the band’s record label, Blue Elan Records.

To purchase a copy of Fanny Walks the Earth’s self-titled album, click on the album cover below:

Fanny Walked The Earth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Released in 2018, the self-titled album Fanny Walks the Earth has already been making a lot of noise in the music industry. Since it’s release, the band has released two singles. The first single from the release was “Lured Away”. The band’s current single is “When We Need Her”.