New York, NY (Top40 Charts/ Dead Letter Press)
Introducing LITTLE HOPES, the new album from JOHN BRODEUR, available everywhere Aug. 13 on Mr. Duck/Sojourn Records, with distribution by Nail/Allegro.
The culmination of several years of "writing and re-writing, recording and re-recording," Little
Hopes finds the restless performer leaping from quirky bedroom pop to the kind of propulsive guitar rock Performing Songwriter called "power pop at its finest," tackling both matters of the heart and battles of the soul. These recordings balance the artist's expansive arrangement instincts with his love of lo-fi recording techniques, matching introspective but relatable lyrics to simple, memorable melodies. The result is a confident, tuneful collection that brims with personality—the sound of an artist staying unapologetically true to his own vision.
Brodeur performed, produced, and mixed Little
Hopes himself, with input from Troy Pohl (Sean Rowe) and Dominick Campana (Dryer). Mastering and additional mixing was contributed by Grammy winner Michael Tudor (Duncan Sheik, the Strokes). Recording took place at several upstate New York studios and at Brodeur's home studio in Manhattan, using a combination of Pro Tools and 4- and 8-track cassette machines.
Lyrically, the songs on Little
Hopes are bound by the common themes of self-improvement and second chances. "Customarily, to say one has 'little hope' is to say they are in a dire situation," says Brodeur. "By pluralizing the phrase, I wanted to focus on the ideas and dreams we cling to when we are at our lowest points—the little hopes that help to pull us out of those dark places."
Dig for your soul like it's buried alive / Dig until light comes through the other side, Brodeur sings on "Dig," a loping waltz rhythm underpinning the song's flowing, psychedelic overtones.
"I saw this album as an opportunity to redirect the tone of my writing," he says. "Where some of my past material might have lingered on darkness or bitterness, these songs are balanced by a sense of optimism. The darkness is still present, but there's an emphasis on the possibility of positive change."
All these things will pass if you want them to, Brodeur sings on "Neil Young," named for the legendary artist that Brodeur calls his "spirit animal."
Elsewhere, on set opener "Be Careful," amid a playful hand-clap rhythm and swelling keyboards, Brodeur offers a note of unfettered positivity: Love will come / Be hopeful / For everyone.
Hopes follows the May release of non-album single "Daily Affirmation" on NYC label Family Records. (View the "Daily Affirmation" lyric video at YouTube.)
Brodeur will tour the United States this fall. Dates will be announced shortly. Additional new singles are expected before year's end.
Hopes is just one entry in Brodeur's busy itinerary. Over the past few years he's collaborated live or in the studio with more than a dozen acts, including U.S. tours drumming for Australia-via-NYC rockers The Morning After Girls and rekindled Philadelphia shoegaze band Highspire; plus stints as bassist for Brooklyn power-pop outfit The Robin
Electric and as lead guitarist with psych-blues duo Golden Animals. Last year, Brodeur made a cameo appearance in the "Lazuli" music video by Beach House.
This year, Brodeur has appeared at the S.S. Cape May Festival (NJ), Move Music
Festival (NY), and Hudson Music
Fest (NY); and played tour dates with Todd Park Mohr, Trixie Whitley, and Benjamin
Francis Leftwich. He recently debuted a new lineup of The Suggestions, featuring bassist J. McCarron (Le Boum, Maggie Mayday) and drummer Nate Smith
1. Be Careful
2. One Man Army
3. Neil Young
4. Oh My!
6. Favorite Feeling
7. Old Wounds
8. Second Time
9. You Kill Me
10. Spit It Out
UPCOMING LIVE DATES
Aug. 17 - New York, NY The Living Room * ALBUM RELEASE SHOW
ABOUT JOHN BRODEUR
Since announcing his arrival with 2001's Tiger Pop, New York-based recording artist John Brodeur has produced a series of critically praised recordings as a solo artist and as frontman for power-pop trios The Suggestions and Maggie Mayday. A one-man band in the tradition of Todd Rundgren and Jason Falkner, Brodeur cites Elliott Smith, Beck, and Alex Chilton as major influences on his work. His recordings have earned comparisons to Nada Surf, Matthew Sweet, and Robyn
Hitchcock. Live, his presentation varies from a commanding solo-acoustic presence to manic feats of looping and layering.
Brodeur has toured or shared stages with Greg Laswell, Scud Mountain Boys/Joe Pernice, Fountains of Wayne, They Might Be Giants, Glenn
Tilbrook, TV On The Radio, O.A.R., Mike Doughty, the Whigs, the Bravery, Gavin Degraw, and many more. His music has appeared on NBC, A&E, VH1 and Discovery.
***Full-album STREAM at Soundcloud: snd.sc/1a1rEU8
PRESS MENTIONS FOR JOHN BRODEUR
"A different mood of '70s radio with each pop concoction. . . . Pop records like this may be scarce, but when they are of this caliber, they won't remain under the radar for long." (Performing Songwriter, on Tiger Pop)
"His compositions have a stoic sentimentalism that may well catapult Mr. Brodeur into the sort of alt-rock pinup status that [Lou] Barlow once enjoyed." (PopMatters)
"In an age of throwaway pop, these recordings immediately stand out like a sore thumb." (LMNOP, on Tiger Pop Ten)
"A gifted songwriter who has the rare ability to craft catchy pop hooks without relying on stock pop-song structures." (J Eric. Smith, Metroland)
"One of the best guitar pop albums of the current millennium." (Pittsburgh Daily News, on Tiger Pop)
"Brodeur deadpans his urban pop constructions with the same arrogance as Runt-era Todd Rundgren, pulling off arrangement twists that keep his tunes floating a safe distance above the drainage ditch of pop icon body-snatching." (Amplifier, on Mix Tape)
"A delicately crafted wake up call. . . . This is a brilliant album." (Powerpopaholic, on Get Through)
"A wonderfully varied collection of songs that range through rock, grunge and alternative styles without ever losing a distinctive pop appeal. Brodeur writes intelligently, conveying thoughts and stories in a personal style that make the listener feel a part of the show." (Wildy's World, on Get Through)