PETER BRODERICK: Home (Hush Records/Bella Union)


Posted on Nov 14th 2008 01:43 am

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Peter Broderick: Home

Hush Recordings/Bella Union 2008
10 Tracks. 40mins03secs

For the last year or so, home for Peter Broderick has been Copenhagen, where he was originally invited to move from his native Portland, OR, to join Efterklang as part of their extended tour family in his quality of violinist and multi-instrumentist, providing him with a splendid opportunity to showcase his own work by regularly opening for them too. Meanwhile, he was commissioned a mini-album of instrumental piano pieces by the excellent Swedish imprint Kning Disk, resulting in Docile, which was published a few months ahead of Float, Broderick’s debut album, released on Type earlier this year.

But while both Docile and Float were concerned with overly classical compositions, Home is carved from a different type of wood. Here, Broderick collects ten delicate folk songs built from essentially acoustic instrumentation. This latest offering shares with its predecessors an intrinsic feel for delicate arrangements and wonderful melodies, but Broderick’s soft, lightly smokey vocals gives it a very different feel. Acoustic guitars, occasionally tainted with discreet touches of piano, banjo, electric guitar, violin and electronics provide exquisite backdrops for his poetic tales. Everything here has its place, every second, every note, every silence is precious and rare. Vocal harmonies hang over wonderfully airy and light arabesques, forming beautiful textural vignettes teeming with rich autumnal tones and heart-warming melodies. Songs such as With The Notes In My Ears, which Broderick apparently wrote as an expression of his joy of moving to Copenhagen and being given the opportunity to join one of his favourite bands, the wonderful Below It or Not At Home sound melancholic but are propelled by underlying uplifting shades which give them a deeply impressionist feel.

On opener Games, And It’s Alright and later on Maps and Games Again, Broderick recreates the rich vocal layering that characterise some of his live performances, but, whereas he relies on loops whilst on stages, he gains here some freedom by adopting more conventional recording forms. Sickness, Bury and Maps progressively build from gossamer acoustic formations to expensive dense electrically-charged pieces, at times slightly reminiscent of the last Sigur Rós release, but even there Broderick shows great restraint and humility by avoiding any sweeping moment, staying instead focussed on the finer details of these two songs.

Although still in his early twenties, Peter Broderick is an incredibly gifted and intelligent musician, who is showing great musical maturity and versatility. Home is one of these records that infiltrate the mind and reveal themselves little by little, until they become so familiar that they are indispensable. It is a quietly magnificent piece of work which brings what has been for Broderick a very fruitful year to a perfect close.


Peter Broderick (MySpace) | Hush Records | Bella Union | Type Recordings
Buy: CD | LP | iTunes

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