Ben Broderick is a musician from Boston, MA. He plays original solo guitar pieces at several coffee shops and open mic nights around the area. Two Inch Hotels is his first professionally recorded EP and features eleven tracks of pure guitar. His style ranges from folk to classical with everything in between. Every track is intricate and complex and stands in a category of its own.
The album began with “Singapore” which was intricate and gentle with a swaying peaceful sound. Broderick is a talented guitarist, I found myself hanging on to every note, the way you would with lyrics. The absence of vocals does not in any way make the song simple; it has the same build up and drama of a lyrical song with unique and compelling melodies. “Lucida” had a Spanish vibe with a romantic intensity. I felt an entire love story play out with these notes. Broderick is such a visual artist. His guitar creates entire atmospheres and stories. I could almost see the song in the air as I listened to it.
“Templeton” reminded me of a Renaissance fair. I could picture the puffy shirts and flowing dresses. It was soft and feminine. My favorite track was “Slow Drifting Waves” which blew my mind how much it reminded me of water. Now I’m no guitar expert, but I play enough to know that Broderick is something special. His ability to paint pictures with his notes is amazing. I could smell the saltwater in the air when I closed my eyes.
“Polanski's Blues” was a fun, whimsical track, while “Waking up by the Lake” was another image evoking number. I could see the misty water in the early morning sun and feel the chill in the air. Sometimes the imagery created by the tracks was so lucid, it freaked me out a bit. “Railroad Salvage” was a darker song with little funky pieces here and there and reminded me of a soundtrack of a period film sets in the ‘30s or ’40s. “Counterclockwise” was slow and pretty with a staccato like beat while “Two Inch Hotels” was funky and eclectic. The two final tracks “Late for a Train” and “Big White Bird” were soft with lazy melodies and pretty high notes. I was a little bummed when the album ended. Listening to Broderick’s playing was probably the most relaxing thing I did all week.
Two Inch Hotels is a beautiful EP. Broderick has an impressive way of creating entire landscapes with his guitar. You get the sense of entire stories from start to finish without a single sung word. Every track is complex and unique with delicate melodies and ambient auras. This may be my new go-to album for when I need to escape from the world and unwind. Listening to it reminded me of reading a good book; you get totally lost in the world Broderick creates and it takes a few seconds to come back down to reality. I obviously enjoyed it immensely.
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