Singer songwriter Brett Randell picked up his guitar and backpack and bought a one way ticket to Florence, making his way around the Mediterranean, with his only goals being to play music, meet people, and be inspired.
Although his brother and sister had played in bands while still teenagers, Brett had consciously decided not to follow the musical path, instead concentrating on his passion for drawing and writing. It wasn’t to last for long. For his 20th birthday Brett bought himself an acoustic guitar, and within days he found himself writing the song which was to lay the foundation for his musical endeavours: ‘Change The World’. In 2008, a mere 9 months after first having picked up that guitar, Brett was playing in Milan, Italy, for an audience made up from people from more than 20 countries. Later that year, he opened for Pete Francis Heimbold, from Dispatch.
Brett had found his calling.
Originally from New York, Brett has always had the wanderlust, and moved from there to Austin, Texas in 2009. Here he developed his style. Brett released his eponymous EP that year, followed by his EP ‘Glow’ in 2010. On the back of this he toured around the US and Europe, including the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and France.
After playing over 100 shows in 2011, Brett changed tack and decided to throw himself into the creative side of being a musician, and bought the afore-mentioned one way ticket to Florence, where he paid his way by working in Italian vineyards and on Turkish farms. He hitchhiked his way across the continent, and played his music in locations as diverse as rooftops in Istanbul, ancient cobbled streets in Croatia, the seaside in Olympos, radio stations in Athens, and pubs and houseboats in London.
All in all, his travels proved great fodder for his new EP, ‘Rise’, which was released in the early Autumn last year. Recorded between Mighty Fine Productions in Denver Colorado (where Brett moved in 2013) and Andre Moran at Congress House Studio in Austin, the EP features musicians from both locations. The EP was a truly international affair, being recorded and mixed in Denver by Xandy Whitesel, who’s worked with Bon Iver, and mastered in Germany by Robin Schmidt.
‘Rise’ is a five track EP, with the lead track ‘The Waitress’ a perky love song, sung in a folky rap similar to the style of Ed Sheeran. The song features a great animated lyric video:
‘Without You’ is a slightly slower number, and shows off Brett’s considerable playing and vocal talents, matched only by his considerable lyric writing skills. Followed by title track, ‘Rise’, a mellow and soothing ballad.
The inspiration for fourth song, ‘Ghost’, in Brett’s words,
“was from my whole adventure when I travelled and played music around Europe, and from the people I met. Leaving people. It’s another parable for life.”
‘Ghost’ is a gentle, thoughtful song, with Brett’s vocals simply supported by his guitar.
Final song, ‘Enigma’ reflects the influence of Randell’s European adventure, and conveys a feeling of the Mediterranean, with its hot summer evenings.
Altogether, ‘Rise’ is a great EP, and we’re certainly glad that Brett Randell decided to buy that guitar all those years ago.