Review by Joseph Timmons: IndiePulse Music
After two LP albums and one live album, Brown Kid has now released Rusty Strings, His first EP, which consists of a total of six new tracks. With both a modern approach and a true to nature folksy tone, Brown Kid in Rusty Strings, brings a fun filled EP with true fan appeal and a whimsical non conformity we look for in the ever changing and often overly ambitious new indie music scene, so many bands labor to create music that seems to come so naturally to this artist. Brown Kid is a performer and singer songwriter. Born in Lima, Peru but currently resides in the U.S. Since early in his career, he has traveled performing, recording and collaborating with many artists. His music has been featured in local and national radio as well as in many different publications. Some of his favorite performances have been for events that raise money for causes like Relay for Life and March of Dimes.
This EP is for the most part still rooted in the band’s original acoustic nature. This EP has a light, carefree attitude about it, which combines the sunny, beachy vibes of artists such as Jack Johnson with the more rock/reggae qualities of artists like Sublime. And their melodies are such that they would be able to keep up with even the most well-known musicians of their genre.
The EP opens with “Welcome To My Funeral,” a track that tells the story of a funeral from the perspective of the one who is deceased. What is unique about their music is that even in the most solemn songs they find a way to add some form of comedic outlet. The topic of funeral guests is used for this purpose in this specific track. Brown Kid sings, “Welcome to my funeral, It’s funny how things just changed. You never liked me while I was alive; there’s no need to pretend.”
Rusty Strings is surrounded in a foreign, oftentimes tropical sound that combines rhythms of reggae with those of hip-hop. This is especially true in “Jamaicamecrazy” and “La Farra.” “Jamaiamecrazy” stems from the Jamaican culture and the ever-joyful and optimistic attitude displayed by its citizens. This characteristic is exhibited in a line of the chorus where Brown Kid sings, “Water from the sky, but everything is fine. Ain’t nothing but a little bit of liquid sunshine.” The rap portions are unique and come as a bit of a surprise. “La Farra” is a Spanish expression that roughly translates into a “festive atmosphere.” The track is more or less about being young, throwing caution to the wind, and having the time of your life.
Like many of the other songs on the EP, the acoustic guitar gives off a respectable blend of mellowness and liveliness, which is exactly what is to be expected from music surrounded in such a sunny atmosphere. “Rusty Strings” is a story of one immigrant’s journey to America, told from the immigrant’s point of view. The song is dedicated to Brown Kid’s father and the struggles that he faced. The lyrics allow listeners to empathize with his struggles and the lonely times he faced. Brown Kid explains that no matter how lost he may have felt along the way his guitar always made him feel at home again. “Complacency” reminds us to appreciate everything that we have instead of remaining caught up in wishing for everything else that we might not have.
The simplicity of this EP is actually one of its best attributes; both the range of instruments used and the use of sound effects and editing are limited. And although the album gives off such an authentic island feel, it was actually recorded right in the heart of country music in Nashville, Tenn. No matter what mood you are in beforehand, by the end of Rusty Strings, you will be in a much better one. This is one of those genuine feel-good albums that serves its purpose.
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