I haven’t done a “listening to” update in a really long time, I’m not exactly sure why that is, but today I felt like I definitely needed share this gem of a band: Middle Brother. Middle Brother is made up of the three frontmen of indie-folk favorites Delta Spirit, Deer Tick, and Dawes– Matthew Vasquez, John McCauley, and Taylor Goldsmith, respectively– who trade off roles throughout the album.
I’d been in a phase of more electronic indie stuff for a while, and in need of something different, I discovered these guys, who immediately tapped into my deep-seated love of rock tinged with folk (what can I say, I’m from the South) and anything resembling Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, or Neil Young (all of whom they proclaim their love for). In addition to loving their sound, their lyrics are some of the best I’ve heard in a while– there are currently more than a couple clever lines rolling around in my head.
I loved this bit from a very well-written piece on NPR about them:
“There’s a singer-songwriter intimacy in many of the songs on Middle Brother, as though band members John McCauley, Taylor Goldsmith and Matthew Vasquez were sharing secrets and anecdotes and decided to set them to music. All three men belong to bands — Deer Tick, Dawes and Delta Spirit — that trade on folk, blues and country traditions; even their up-tempo songs are less rave-up rockers than hand-clapping foot-stompers.
This being a group composed of thoughtful guys with guitars, there’s a certain amount of bad behavior to be chronicled — bouts of drunkenness, hangovers, one-night stands and a general air of doomstruck melancholy. Sometimes it’s maudlin, but more often, as in Matthew Vasquez’s song “Theater,” it can describe dreams with a precision that matches the sharp snap of the drum beat.”
I’ve posted these live videos here since videos were the only embed-able material I could find, but the quality isn’t that great and their sound is pretty different live vs. on the album (more acoustic, softer, and refined on the album), so I’d recommend listening to the streaming clips here. I’m pretty sure you’ll want to download it… and then download the albums of all of their respective bands!
PS- SF people, they are playing here on Sunday! Everyone else, check their tour dates, they’re out and about after SXSW!