Phillip Broussard releases Wavelength EP
Recently I had the chance to become familiarized with a singer/songwriter that is just starting out but has already accomplished more both in and out of the studio than most of us ever will in our short timespan on this planet. Phillip Broussard is an indie folk/pop musician who borrows some of his influences from pre-20th century country singers, classic rock and Americana in the vein of John Denver, but I wouldn’t be quick to label him as part of the dying scene of hipster folkies that haven’t had much success since the Occupy Wall Street protests came to an end nearly a decade ago. Broussard to me is much more representative of a new wave of alternative singer/songwriters whose music is more steeped in midcentury “old time” acoustic music and 1980’s heartland revival rock than it is the postmodern pragmatism and irreverence of Dylan influenced folk singers of the middle to late 2000’s and early 2010’s. And to be perfectly frank, I don’t think anyone is doing what he does better than he is right now. His record Wavelength sends a clear message that the Austin guitar slingers need move over; indie rock has a new songwriter to champion, and he’s coming out of Seattle.
Wavelength is, at its core, a really great collection of reflective love songs that are equally introspective as well as ironic and dripping with humility, something that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere in Top 40 radio right now. “In My Chords,” my favorite song from the record, perhaps captures the style of Broussard better than any of his other work, highlighting his amazing ear for melody and natural talent for harmonizing with his guitar like the missing seventh string. “All Over Again” is a bit more vivid lyrically and audiologically, using a chord scheme that creates a structured yet sprawling backdrop of endless plains. The imagery is breathtaking and stark, yet we don’t feel isolated thanks to the warmth in Broussard’s voice, which has a way of wrapping its arms around you and consistently reminding the listener that they aren’t alone. Music is the greatest tool that mankind has at its disposal to heal and unite people like nothing else, and in many ways Wavelength uses this tool to bring a little bit of relief to aching hearts while also inspiring the hungry ones to maintain their passionate pursuit.
After giving his latest work a thorough examination, there isn’t a slight bit of doubt in my mind that Phillip Broussard has got a full album’s worth of material in him somewhere and his audience is ready to receive it, no matter what shape it does or doesn’t take. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m definitely planning on keeping a close eye on what he releases in the months and years to come following the platform that Wavelength will undoubtedly allow him to launch from. If his keeps making work that lives up to the level of quality he’s shown us on this disc, he’s in for a lot more than just financial fame and success; he could end up influencing the direction of his entire scene and others like it.