Barry Brusseau, “The Royal Violent Birds” LP

cover-royal-violent-birdsBarry Brusseau's new album, The Royal Violent Birds arrived at Rock Star Journalist headquarters with perfect timing. It's gorgeous, both to look at and to listen to, and the sounds that come out of the speakers are perfectly suited for these late fall days. It's perfect hoodie weather in the afternoon, and as the sun goes down and the evening rolls on, the temperature dips, and you want to curl up on the couch with some hot cocoa and music that reflects the season. According to something posted on Brusseau's website back in October, he "stayed analog all the way through for a pure vinyl experience," with The Royal Violent Birds mastered specifically for vinyl. It sounds so warm, so inviting. The first time I dropped the needle on this record, I was amazed at the qualities that came through. You can hear the quaver in Brusseau's voice, like he's maybe hidden behind the stereo, singing in the living room, rather than a recorded voice vibrating a speaker cone. The Royal Violent Birds is an album that hearkens back to the '70s. There's a lot of Richard Buckner and Leonard Cohen here, although less sonorous than Cohen. The songs lope along, moving at the pace of falling snow. Brusseau's lyrics are sparse. At most, they're a stanza of verse, which he repeats throughout the song, but interpreting it with a twist and a new take each time through. It's as if he's attempting to find the perfect way to deliver these focused collections of words. Barry Brusseau's The Royal Violent Birds is a stunning, gorgeous piece of work. It's probably worth noting this is one of the few releases to come into the Nuthouse that both my wife and I enjoyed equally. It's an affecting record, with the cello lines running through my head over and over whenever I find myself with a spare moment of silence. I have a feeling this might be the album of the season, perfectly suited to making it through the cold months ahead. It's available now on Gorbie Records International, and as a I said, the record's as beautiful as the music inside. The covers feature an image of Brusseau, surrounded by birds, and it's on half-and-half black and white vinyl. You can buy it straight from the Gorbie Records store. MP3: Barry Brusseau, "Till the Wind Blows Everything"