If Jon Hopkins and Anthony and the Johnsons had a baby.
London based Simon Brunel has quite a rich mix of genres in his musical background and that becomes clear when you listen to his debut EP ‘Between the Lines’. Whilst you may assume that a piano-based composer and producer can easily fit into the modern classical genre, Simon ensures he brings elements of ambient synth, pop and indie folk to the plate.
‘Under and Overseas’ is probably the best example of the diversity Simon’s music has. Starting off as a piano melody, it develops into a surging undercurrent of electronica. He then provides his own falsetto voice over the top which you could lift from any Coldplay track and get a similar vibe. ‘Lullaby for an Insomniac’ sees that voice shift to a long drawn out delivery where it is difficult to make out the words. Behind him is a warm, almost devotional wash of piano and synths. That prettiness is perked up with ‘Summer Past Away’. The bright piano and Jonsi-like vocal delivery give way to hazy synths and an Anthony and the Johnsons vibe. What I like most about this track is that it feels both alien and distant whilst having a groove too. ‘Winter’ instead is full of vocal chipmunking and huge percussion over real-world samples. It is quite tricky to describe it and extremely inventive as dog barks become a lazy melody motif around gentle waltzing pianos. Give it a few listens and you’ll appreciate it much more.
Simon Brunel clearly has a lot of talent in the sound producer and creative department. These tracks offer up a diverse and fascinating sound palette to enjoy. It is the kind of EP that requires a few listens to really click with so give it a chance and hopefully, you’ll be rewarded.
Recommended track: Under and Overseas
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