Since the release of their self-titled EP in 2014, Speak, Brother have built themselves a reputation for creating music which this indie folk band describes as “Vulnerable, honest, ethereal.” Their follow up release Light Runs After Us confirmed that this was a group of musicians who were going from strength to strength.
After a successful crowdfunding campaign James Herring, Matthew Cotterill, Nathan Morris, Dan Smith, and Sam Oakes have returned with their debut album Young & Brave. With their previous releases showcasing such a strong songwriting writing quality, the pressure was on to deliver something special.
While listening to Young & Brave in full, it is clear to hear that they have used the time between releases to focus on how they wanted to develop their sound. This 5 piece have always known how to create something that captivated, but with the new album, it has evolved into to something bigger, full of life. The track ‘Lions Roar’ is the perfect example of how they have grown. This song was a major highlight from their previous EP, but the updated version has more punch with a chorus that now roars.
Throughout the album, it is difficult not to get lost in this bigger sound that has more of a stadium feel. This is a credit to how these guys have come to together to make this happen. They are a machine in the way each member is integral to delivering the necessary audio landscape. Not only that, but they can also bring a controlled and beautiful tone which ‘Empire’ shows.
These soundtracks set the stage for the stories that Speak, Brother wants to share with the listener. The way they mould their words to create infectious hooks and captivating tales shows that this band has a lot of depth when it comes to their work. They deliver an impressive range of honest emotions within their songs. You have to appreciate lyrics such as “I promise you son that you won’t be left longing / Your crisis is nothing but fear of the dark / So give up the ghost the light is dawning / Your crisis is nothing but fear of the dark / Your crisis seems nothing when fear departs,” (from ‘Man of Honour’).
These lyrics have a wonderful magic about them but you need the right storyteller to bring them to life. Speak, Brother has the perfect man who is more than capable for the job. Herring’s vocal presence is compelling as he brings passion and emotion to each performance. His voice glides so effortlessly as he switches from a gentle heartfelt tone to belt out some powerful choruses.
There is no weak track to be found on this album and choosing a favourite is no easy task. ‘Magnesium Burn’ is a huge highlight for most people with its big infectious hooks and radio-friendly vibe. A personal highlight is ‘When We Were Young’ which takes you back to your childhood days with lines such as “In this garden we'd explore / With muddy knees and dirty paws / We’d build great kingdoms with castles of sand / Slayed dragons every day.”
Speak, Brother should be proud of what they have created with Young & Brave. It is a flawless collection of songs that deserves the praise that it will receive. If the people did not know about this band, they will now.
When We Were Young
Man of Honour
Two Bands of Gold
To listen or Buy: http://smarturl.it/YoungAndBrave
Find out more about the band: http://speakbrother.co.uk/home
Link to Music Video on YouTube: