Clever, heartfelt lyrics teamed with unexpected chords and keys make singer-songwriter Brady Brock’s Warm American Sweater [Feel Records] a must for folky emo- music intellectuals. Warmed throughout with cello and even the glockenspiel at times, and well-mixed with electronics and the right amount of now—this perfectly-named CD, Warm American Sweater is comfy, familiar, honest and easy-on-the-ears.
Besides, you've just got to love the cover art of the CD, done to look like an old 1960s-70s record album, complete with the worn curve of the album pressing into the cardboard, and a reminder it's recorded in stereo. On the back is the typical lengthy bio--sixties style, but the sound is thoroughly 21st Century emo.
Brock’s last album, I Will Live In You Where Your Heart Used To Be felt like a CD of lost Elliott Smith B-sides (whom he’s recently been opening for in the Northeast), but this latest release shows considerable growth toward a sound of his own, save for a couple of moments here and there--and the distintly Elliott way he sings ‘yeah’ in the second song, “Stay As Sweet As You Are,” --but that’s easy to forgive, given he learned from the best. Strongest tracks on this album include the aforementioned tune, as well as “Time and All You Took,” and songs like the bouncy-glum “Happiness,” (Smith coincidentally has a song with the same title, but with a whole different vibe). Brock’s “Happiness” echoes the Beatles “I’d love to turn you on,” lyric—with a plugged-in twist and the specifics of where and when. All the songs on Warm American Sweater are short and to the point, and Brock doesn’t waste a lot of time showing off technical trickery or gimmicks. Instead, he’s got a direct arrow to the heart in each track; one message, one lesson, for listeners to know about him and about themselves. Brady Brock is clearly an artist to watch and could soon prove to be a heavyweight in thinking man (and woman)’s music.