top of page

HONK Magazine Review

Brent Musgrave

Dec 12, 2023

Brooke Josephson Delivers via NEW EP

Despite facing a ton of competition from across the underground, I think it would be fair to say that Brooke Josephson delivers one of the most cathartic records of the season in her all-new "Live & Let Live" EP.

Steeped in positive vibes that transcend lyrics to penetrate both the sonic and melodic realms of every composition it contains, “Live & Let Live” is hardly your standard alternative pop record. In six truly telling songs, Josephson drives home a consistent narrative, reminding listeners that retrospection doesn’t have to mean regret at all. It’s exactly the kind of EP indie pop fans needed this season, and easily one of my personal favorites.

The instrumental parts are as pivotal to the mood of the music as any of the verses are in the progressive “Good Kind of Tired” and sublimely smooth-moving “Burning Journals.” Thanks to the crisp audio quality featured throughout the tracklist, there’s never a moment in which any of the string tonality winds up sacrificed in the name of pop polish, which is always a plus in my book. If Josephson’s ultimate goal was to allow us to feel this material as much as we hear it, saying she offers us a winner in this record might be just a little too much of an understatement.

There’s no bassline overindulgence to behold in this EP, and that’s a pretty big deal when taking into account just how common an issue that’s been in new rock records this year. The Athens-influenced “Eye in the Sky,” “No for an Answer” and the aforementioned “Burning Journals” are excellent examples of clean-cut equalization free of the excesses that frequently plague indie pop numbers, and although it’s not the heaviest EP you’ll hear this season, “Live & Let Live” scarcely sounds anything less than meaty.

You don’t have to be a professional critic like myself to acknowledge how awesome “Burning Journals,” “All We Never Had” and “No for an Answer” would be in a live setting. There’s so much potential still on the table for Brooke Josephson to tap into in future endeavors, but by and large, she produces an extended play here that gives us a wonderful insight into what she can accomplish when there’s nothing present to stifle her creativity. ‘Live & Let Live” feels more like an LP than it ever does a mixtape, and in its class of records, that’s half the battle.

If you need an uplifting melodicism skewed with honest roots rock compositional wit, Josephson’s “Live & Let Live” is an EP that you’ll want to check out before the year ends. Brooke Josephson is on fire from the opening cut “Good Kind of Tired” through to the closing number in “Eye in the Sky,” and while she’s a relatively new face to mainstream listeners, it’s obvious that she’s bringing a lot of industry experience into the studio here. I love what I’ve heard so far, and in the next few years, I think we’re going to see even more intriguing content from this brilliantly talented singer/songwriter.

Brent Musgrave

bottom of page