The piano purrs with emotionality as Rebecca Binnendyk’s “Brick by Brick” starts to play, but its brittle melody pales in size compared to the epic harmony that it’s preparing us for just around the corner. Enter Binnendyk, who is hesitant in her execution at first, as if to imply a reticence to admit the things that she’s about to in these next few verses. She describes the tumultuous end of a relationship, and more explicitly, the realization that there’s a wall between her and the lover that she so bluntly references in these lyrics, and through the music that joins them in this ballad, we’re able to understand everything that she’s feeling in this moment.
In the first chorus of “Brick by Brick,” Binnendyk doesn’t go after the verse with quite as much intensity as she will in the second, but this churning lead-in to the fireworks in the middle of the song is essential to making the climax as incredible as it can be. The music video for this track is similarly tense, but stops short of frustrating us with elusive visual riddles that would have ultimately made it much harder for us to stay focused on the harmonies, and furthermore, the words that they contain.
Close to halfway through this single the energy starts to pick up, and around the 2:25 mark, when Binnendyk starts in on the refrain from the chorus, her vocal transcends its normal role as a translator of emotion and becomes embedded in the fabric of the instrumental melodies in the background. She is one with her backing band, and they’re conveying everything that’s inside of her heart without ever having to utter a single syllable. It’s an inspiring fever pitch, and in both the video and the song, we’re left in awe of Binnendyk’s unadulterated swagger.
“Brick by Brick” fades to black amidst one last strum of the guitar strings, but I’ve discovered that the trail of reverberating melodies that it leaves in its wake tends to linger in the air like a faint fog that you would see at the start of a brisk fall morning. Even if you were to take away all of the pop ribbonry that was used to package this track and music video to be as radio-friendly as anything currently topping the play count on Spotify is, “Brick by Brick” would still be a urbanely designed work of art, and that’s not often the case with singles from artists who only have one album under their belts.
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