Brooke Josephson Drops “Rainbow” (SINGLE)

Hearing truly inspired music is always a treat. It isn’t a common phenomenon these days. Perhaps a year plus of a global pandemic laying an assortment of nations to waste has sapped humanity’s boisterous spirit and it will take some time for many of us to recover. Brooke Josephson, however, sounds ready to face down the world today. Her new single “Rainbow” from the forthcoming EP Showin’ Up crackles and breathes fire from the beginning. Tim Pierce plays an enormous role in the song’s musical success as he plays both bass and guitar.

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It’s with the latter that he makes the deepest impact. The hard-pumping rhythm guitar playing is hard-driving from the outset and Seth Rausch’s drumming provides an authoritative backbeat supporting the performance. A two-guitar attack gives the song plenty of six string bite, but second guitarist Chris Nordlinger’s playing is nearly indistinguishable from Pierce’s. This may be a flaw for some tracks, but not here. It buttresses the song’s sonic stature without ever sounding gratuitous.

Her singing is the unquestioned highlight of the piece. Josephson has clear commitment to each line without ever falling into melodramatic or ham-fisted phrasing and artfully interprets the song. The emotion running throughout is palpable. Reinforcing her singing with a children’s choir and background support gives “Rainbow” a grander scope than it would otherwise possess and counts among Josephson’s wisest musical decisions.

No one should wonder if Josephson is fully at the controls of her own career. She’s isn’t a management company’s creation. Both the music and lyrics for “Rainbow” are hers and it’s her first production credit. She benefits from Oscar and Grammy winning engineer Brendan Dekora’s excellent mix, but her production skills are considerable, and she should handle these chores on any future release. No one, naturally, understands what she wants to achieve with the same certainty.

There’s a lot going on here, but it never overwhelms listeners. “Rainbow” has a clear direction from the outset and never hesitates; the inexorable movement towards its conclusion carries listeners along on a wave. A whiff of the predictable surrounds the song. Listeners, however, will never mind it however as their biggest joy will be hearing how well Josephson executes time-tested tropes. Her limited experience would usually dictate there’s a degree of hesitation in her approach. You don’t hear any of that here.

The new single has a great music video, as well, backing it up. It’s a key part of Josephson’s presentation how she understands the value of a dramatic music video and the stylistic flair of the self-produced clip hits viewers with a wallop. The Los Angeles based singer/songwriter retains every ounce of her Midwestern honesty after a trio of releases and “Rainbow” demonstrates her growing maturity without ever undercutting her capacity for entertaining listeners. She’s going to make waves with this single and the forthcoming EP Showin’ Up and its another building block towards a career that increasingly seems destined to last. She is working in an inspired mode that rouses your heart and weaves a near magical web.

Michael Rand

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