In 2013, fresh out of Berklee College of Music where she earned her master’s in songwriting, Brooke Josephson went on a prolific writing spree and launched her independent recording career with Live and Let Live – an album which showcased her wide array of talents as an impactful singer/songwriter. Over the past ten years, she’s come a long way not only as an artist, composer and producer, but also on a personal level as a devoted mother of two young children. Excited now to share the deeper artistry she’s cultivated, Brooke marks the 10th Anniversary of her debut with a complete re-recording and re-imagining of its engaging tracks.
Co-produced by Brooke and Chris Kahn, whose credits as an engineer include 5 Seconds of Summer, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears and Selena Gomez, the revamp features more intimate versions of the songs that reflect her maturity and evolution as an artist -and whose vibe captures her current sensibilities in the wake of her critically acclaimed 2022 album Showin’ Up, Brooke’s first turn as a producer. Both projects were mixed by Grammy winning engineer Brendan Dekora (Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters, Neil Young, Michael Buble, Keith Urban). The new tracks were recorded at East West Studios in Hollywood with drummer Jake Reed, bassist Sean Hurley and guitarists Chris Nordlinger and Grammy winner Andrew Synowiec.
“Chris and I went through the original versions of the songs and started with a bunch of new demos featuring guitar and vocals, changing keys and tempos to make them as heartfelt and genuine as possible,” says Brooke. “While I primarily used MIDI on the original version, a big part of the difference was the opportunity to track everything live. Back in 2013, I didn’t know how to play guitar and although ultimately, I left those parts in the hands of Chris and Andrew, it was important for these versions to reflect my growing relationship with the instrument. I approached them through the lens of a singer/songwriter rather than a young artist trying to prove myself with big piano and keyboard elements.”
There’s a compelling story behind “Good Kinda Tired,” the album’s infectious and witty, high-spirited lead single which, like the empowerment anthem “Rainbow” on Showin’ Up, was partially inspired by one of Brooke’s songwriting muses, the late Harry Chapin. In her 20s, when Brooke was a struggling performer in NYC, she worked multiple jobs in between auditions and gigs. While her first straight job offered her financial stability, she knew it pulled her away from her creative purpose. She went to bed exhausted after ensuring everyone’s needs were met, but felt she was losing herself in the process. Being a wife, mom and successful artist has its stresses, but even the challenging times in her current life leave her feeling a “Good Kinda Tired.”
The clever, playful video – directed by Michelle Bossy, who also lensed the popular music video for “Rainbow” – finds Brooke assuming the role of a 60’s housewife in a vintage nightgown and robe, hair in curlers, with laundry needing to be folded as she treats herself to a martini, “bauble” bath and a browse through The Feminist Mystique. These shots are intercut with black and white images of Brooke singing and playing guitar on TV. Towards the end of the video, her husband comes home from a long day at the office and the two end the day with bliss.
Born and raised in the small town of Warsaw, Indiana, Brooke’s earliest musical memories came from singing in church. She learned to play piano on a $200 mahogany upright and her mom found her a voice teacher at age 13 to cultivate her talents further. While raised in a religious home where secular music was not allowed, she has a fond memory at age eight of attending a friend’s birthday party where she heard Madonna’s “Material Girl” for the first time.
Hooked on pop music from that point on, she became a huge fan of that song’s producer Nile Rodgers and grew up inspired by everyone from Alanis Morrissette and Annie Lennox to Brandi Carlile. She chased her dream of becoming a singer and actress to New York where she started in theater and later worked on “All My Children,” “Bones,” Disney’s “Enchanted” (on whose set she met her now husband), NBC’s “Good Girls” and other shows before re-dedicating to her musical goals and enrolling at Berklee. Brooke’s eclectic discography includes Sexy N’ Domesticated, a sexy, sassy, new wave flavored 2018 EP that earned her a Best Performer Award from American Tracks Music Awards and Best Video from Los Angeles CineFest, Western NY Film, Art, and Music Event (FAME), International Independent Film Awards and others.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to reflect on how far I’ve come these past ten years and to revisit these songs in a unique way,” she says. “I’m also appreciative of the harder times as well, for making me the woman and artist I am today, and for the supportive fans and collaborators who have been part of this amazing journey. Whether on my pop projects or my work in the sound healing arena, I look forward to putting out more positive energy in the world.”