Acoustic soul is a rare treasure to come across these days. Music, much like a lot of media, has experienced a technological revolution in the past thirty years, especially with the not-so-recent popularity of the internet. However, because of such easy accessibility through file sharing as well as an industry so concentrated on imaging and marketing, music has become another corporatized, assembly-line product. Most artists these days are willing to conform to whatever standards set by The Industry and even fewer decide to stick to their creative roots and do something outside the box. Mike Brun does just that with his third full length album Little Blues. It dropped on August 19 and music lovers will be able to stream his album for free on the soundcloud link as well as visit his website www.mikebrun.com.
The NYC-based musician is more than just a singer with a lovely voice; he writes, arranges and composes most of his material and plays a variety of instruments (he plays acoustic guitar, bass, drums, percussion, and keyboards). In fact, he performs a good portion of his music on the album, along with band mates Shaina Taub, Armand Hirsch, Miriam Miller and Jake Sherman. If the harmonies on the background vocals of “That We Move On” sound immaculate to you, it is no accident. He used to sing in and direct Tulane University’s a cappella group Green Envy during his years in post-Katrina New Orleans. His musical and artistic resume gets bigger and better with his work on providing music for and performing in experimental theater productions such as Aggrocrag’s Hello from the Children of Planet Earth (2010) and Fresh Ground Pepper’s Our Farm (2011). Back at his home base, he is a band leader as well as a performer and arranger for other New York based acts like the afore-mentioned vocalist Taub and Jacob Snider. Brun is also named Lead Composer for the musical Folk Wandering that has been selling out theaters around the city. Just another day in the city that never sleeps.
Don’t let the active NYC lifestyle of this musician fool you. Little Blues brings you a more earthy sound than what most radio-listeners are used to. Here, he brings back the wonderful art of being a singer-songwriter. His lyricism beautifully captures the human experience on either side of the spectrum. From the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness from a lost romance in “The Place” to the exciting feeling of intimacy in “T”, Brun’s soft voice doesn’t seek to perform vocal tricks in conjunction with equally tricky lyrics. Rather, being so grounded makes his music so much more profound. Perhaps if one wanted to truly experience the poetry of his songwriting, my personal recommendation would be the final track “Fall You In”. I felt like I was in one of the many smoky jazz clubs in New York, just listening to this young artist guide me through his beautifully constructed work that makes the mundane and ordinary a work of extraordinary and diverse skill. Mike Brun has truly brought acoustic flavor back to the NYC music scene and Little Blues is bound to be an enjoyable experience to indie soul music-lovers everywhere.
Mike Brun on the web:
— Simone Brown