Alright, I was excited about this one, so much so I previewed the album before its release, Arriving so swiftly on the back of Father – which is still one of my most listened to albums of this year. It now has a rival.
Songs stripped back to just voice and guitar, fragility on full display, these are song-sketches just as often as they’re full songs. Demos elevated. And all the better for it.
The social scientist, researcher and storyteller Brené Brown urges us to embrace our vulnerability, to be proud of it, to wear it – to share it. And in a musical sense that’s what Brisa is doing here, more so than on any other album. Simple guitar patterns that are sometimes barely there (Daughter of a Teacher), short nursery-rhyme melodies (Summerelo), delicate diary entries made declarations (Except For Love). Roché doesn’t so much chase the muse as she etherises it; these delicate musical motifs and soft, breathy whisperings are like butterflies pinned to the board.
If you’ve loved PJ Harvey’s White Chalk and/or Nina Nastasia’s Dogs then you’ll be instantly on board with Low Fidelity. If you’ve heard anything of Brisa’s to date then you’ll want to hear this – but it goes beyond being previously acquainted. This is the set of songs – so pure, heart-driven – that will place Brisa Roché in the correct musical context, that will perfectly introduce her to any and all.
Can You Run is the best example of taking Leonard Cohen’s early musical template and making something brand new from it. Secret Song is reminiscent of Kimya Dawson, but always we are hear Brisa’s voice, her experiences, her delivery. First single Can’t Stand reminds me of some of Karen O’s work on her Where The Whild Things Are soundtrack. I’m mentioning these other artists and albums as touchstones, reference points. The specific personal truth within Brisa Roché’s music is actually what sells it to me.
Give this bold, beautiful, fragile set of songs a listen now. It is its own reward.
You can support Off The Tracks via PressPatron