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Eric Jarvis

Dec 11, 2023

Brooke Josephson – Live & Let Live

Filled with so many decadent harmonies as it is crushing electric peaks deeming Brooke Josephson’s Live & Let Live a multidimensional wonder would be quite the appropriate designation indeed.

Starting with the throttling stomp of the lead single “Good Kind of Tired” and carrying us through five additionally thrilling songs, Josephson pulls out all the stops to deliver a performance saturated in captivating passion here.

Her words carry as much weight as any instrumental wallop ever could in “No for an Answer” while the drums bear most of the physical burden of pushing out one heart-melting groove after another in “Burning Journals.”

Eye in the Sky” struts around like something out of a rock n’ roll fantasy much in the way the title cut dazzles with its homespun acoustic melodicism. If the blushing rhythm of “All We Never Had” doesn’t score points with your soul, there’s a solid chance the rhymes of “Burning Journals” will.

Simply put, Josephson takes crossover country-pop to a higher place of contentment in this unstoppably addictive EP, and if you’re having a tough season right now it could make all the difference in the world.

Guitars tend to dominate the rock universe in most scenarios, and in this sense, Live & Let Live isn’t that much different from the other electrifying indie fodder out this winter.

All We Never Had,” “No for an Answer” and “Burning Journals” depend on a textured pop assault to make their anthemic lyrics more tangible to the audience than your average loud n’ proud poetry would be, but I wouldn’t dismiss them as muscle tracks at all.

There isn’t anything in this record, especially concerning the master mix, that qualifies as inefficient in any way. Nothing’s tight to the extent of making us feel smothered – “Live & Let Live” is as breathable and airy as an acoustic number as “Eye in the Sky” is an elaborate concept tune – and I think it’s pretty clear that this player wasn’t trying to create something super varnished with Live & Let Live at any rate.

There’s too much emotion in her performance, too much-unfiltered kinship with her lyricism, for me to think anything otherwise when listening to the songs she’s offering us in this record.

I wasn’t aware of Brooke Josephson’s music before I came across Live & Let Live just this week, but I’m very happy to say that I am now a fan of the EP as well as the woman who conceived it. This is a deeply impressive take on what alternative folk music can yield when it’s employed in the same fashion its subgenres have been in past decades.

Josephson isn’t changing the universe around us with the release of this new record, but if you ask me, she’s setting the bar pretty high for both herself and the scene she’s occupying at the moment. The underground was in desperate need of a shot of life this season, but thanks to Josephson, we’re getting exactly what we requested in this sophisticated six-song extended play.

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