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: