Friday, June 6, 2008

Reviews:: Ayla Brook After the Morning After

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It was quite a surprise to see Ayla Brook getting some love on Song Illinois the other day. Not because he doesn't fit into Craig's normal style of music, but because for a while, it seemed that other than the Winnipeg Airport (which routinely plays his songs), herohill was the only one that paid AA Soundsystem or his solo work much mind.

So now after all my lollygaggin', Craig has gone and said most of what I'd want to talk about with Ayla's new solo record, leaving me searching for any original thoughts. Let's see. Recorded in an empty farmhouse, with nary a drum to be found? Check. A nice Stones vibe? Check. Really the only thing he didn't get into was the incredible backyard, 70's jam session feel of the album. It's chock-o-block full of foot stomps and hand claps and littered with eyes closed, sing at the top of your lungs harmonies just off in the distance (like on Worth The Drive - which also has the terrific line, "met my girl at a Swifties show, took it as a sign not to take it slow") .

To be completely honest, this is how I like hearing Ayla. Stripped down numbers that don't depend on many, with less effects really works for him. He played a quick set at the Railway Club in Vancouver last year, just just him and some broken pedals and the intimacy of the songs and the fact the place was full of friends singing along with made me feel like somehow I was sitting in a kitchen, just shooting the shit listening to other musicians play for a select few.

The lead single - After the Morning After - is simply terrific. A rootsy, blues sound (hence Craig's Stones nod) with terrific group vocals, this track is one you just want to listen to over and over again and one that could fit perfectly into a Jason Collett record, but the whole record shows Ayla's versatile song writing. From charming folk ditties (Wake Up Early - the simple hand clap he adds just makes this song, Maybe I Could Be Your Man) to Deep South bluesy-folk back porch numbers (One Two Three), down-and out, tear in your beer numbers (Leaving Tonight) and a Weezer cover (Sweater Song - ha, I keed I keed, it's an original) - he explores most of the wrinkles that I seek out from musicians these days.

Summer is coming up fast, and this record is perfect for sunsets on the back deck as you watch the sky turn from blue to oranges and reds and people play old classics on guitars.

"I'm trying hard not to wake the neighbors, but I've got to sing loud to think straight."

I'm guessing not a lot of people will jump on this record (but they should), and selfishly, that's okay with me.

Posted at 12:41 PM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 3:14 PM, Blogger pop-kid did sayeth:

Yeah, this album is awesome. Calgary's Saved by Radio label has been putting out some great stuff lately.


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