Long ago, when David Brookings was an 11 year old in Richmond, VA making his live performance debut singing the first song he ever wrote, he probably never imagined that he’d be releasing a full length album in honour of the event called ‘Mania at the Talent Show’, it’s ironic that the first song he wrote was called ‘All I’ll Ever Want’. Now years later he’s releasing two preview tracks for the record.
The first of these tracks is called ‘Hard Times’ and is very much a song of social commentary. It perfectly conjures the feelings of uncertainty that we all have as we emerge from a global pandemic. This is very much epitomised by lyrics like “heaven help you if you sneeze” and “these are strange days, there’s an outrage”. But the complexity of how we are all feeling is balanced by more positive thoughts like “feel the wind though the trees” and “everything’s fine”. I’m sure everyone can relate to the “hard times” David is singing about. We are moving freely but there’s still uncertainty, we are not sure if we should wear a mask or not. Just the fact that we have to think so hard about every human interaction makes these hard times and that feeling is captured perfectly in the lyrics of the song. The fact that this veteran indie pop rocker puts these lyrics to an infectious, nostalgic nineties brit pop backdrop which seems to hark back to less complicated easier times, makes the dichotomy beautifully balanced.
The second track comes from a completely different mind-setbut one that is equally fraught. How do we ever really get over a first love. Can we ever really stop comparing everything that comes later to something that we increasingly think of as better than it really was. ‘Get Off (My Mind)’ sets this youthful melancholy and mature reflection to a more upbeat 60’s influential melody reminiscent of The Zombies or early 70’s ELO. No real surprise then that Brookings was inspired heavily by his parents record collection and repeat viewings of The Monkees. The irony of a song that pines after a love “flying strong” in his mind like “a ghost” is ironic from a guy who’s been happily married for 16 years. L
David Brookings has lived in many places in The States and even worked at Sun Studios, famous for Elvis and Johhny Cash, and he seems to have taken colours and tone from every place he’s lived, like an artist with a palette. All of this experience and musical saturation will come together in November with the release of the album but for now, this preview glimpse certainly whets the appetite.
David says: “I enjoy taking artistic license with stories inspired by my life. I look at music differently than I did when my first record came out, and I’m proud of my development as a songwriter. I try to always write about different, interesting things, projecting myself as a character in various situations and creating an interesting musical movie around that.”