Taking a stand through powerful songwriting is a tradition as old as the folk genre itself, and with his new single “Brothers,” roots-rocker Bosco makes a statement about the conflict in Ukraine that is as moving as it is inspirational. Made in tribute to those experiencing the pain of war amidst an invasion, “Brothers” has a simple harmony and a basic structure when looking at it from a compositional perspective, but for what this song lacks in technical bells and whistles it makes up for in heart and melodicism, the latter of which we already knew Bosco to be a pro at producing.
The strings in this mix nudge the lyrics forth gently, and I like that they’re not any louder here than they need to be. Bosco does well when his voice is close, if not at, the top of the master mix, and this is an instance where it needs to own the spotlight all the more. His intimate tone is half of the mood in this performance, and to have had him competing with a loud acoustic guitar element would have been to rob us of a fragility only accessible when his voice is positioned at center stage.
I really like the music video for “Brothers,” and I think it introduces a strong sense of reality that, although being a lot harsher than any of the melodies in this track, is necessary for us to appreciate the depth of the story Bosco wants us to understand here. He isn’t trying to candy up a bad situation – this is warfare being imposed on an ill-prepared people at a time when the world was already struggling with cohesion, and there’s no denying the emotion that this singer/songwriter is presenting the subject at hand with in his new single.
There’s not quite as much detail to this arrangement as I’ve been hearing out of other independent folk content in the last year, but for the more political releases hitting record store shelves at the moment, it’s to this song’s benefit that it lacks some of the fanciful elements a lot of other singles are sporting. Once again, Bosco wants to emphasize the severity of the narrative as opposed to the breadth of his abilities as a singer and songwriter, which aside from being the nobler move to make is one that puts a giant exclamation point on the guts of what “Brothers” is all about.
Singer/songwriters are challenging the standard around the world right now, and it should be known that Bosco is putting up one of the best efforts I’ve heard from any player in or outside of the underground in the past year in “Brothers.” Whether you’re politically minded or not, this is a ballad that has something to say outside of the romantic realm, which in itself makes it a nice change of pace from the often jaded mainstream folk beat in 2022. On the strength of its substance alone, “Brothers” is a certifiable hit for this player.
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