Oliver James Brooks is a Toronto-based folk-rock singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Divide and Conquer has reviewed a number of his releases but his latest entitled Storm Chasing is his best yet.
The album starts with “Leadfoot” which revolves around crunchy chords, a 4/4 beat and a steady bass part. It’s a fun riff with a great groove and the vocals are undeniably Brooks. I loved the tone of the lead guitar and how it soars higher and higher towards the end of the song.
Brooks has always in my opinion created emotionally resonant intimate moments that don’t feel contrived. One of the best examples of this is on “Two Best Friends” which is not only intimate but melancholy and warm.
The energy rises slightly with “See To It” but not much. It’s another intimate song about inner thoughts that arise. There’s also some spaghetti western like guitar which hits the sweet spot of the song. The single and title track “Storm Chasing” which we already covered in detail is a highlight.
“Just a Song” is another highlight. The song begins with some exceptional guitar picking and vocals. It manages to grow with additional elements that feel empowering as if you can persevere over another adversity. The lyrics also suggest this as well.
Brooks continues with the slow burn of “Forever Together” and “In a Bad Kinda Way.” The slightly more percussion heavy “You Once Were” has a slight cosmic vibe and at moments sounds somewhere between Fleet Foxes and Pink Floyd. “A Place To Go” is one of the more upbeat songs and also very catchy. The most upbeat song however goes to the closer “Ya, Ya, No.”
Overall, I thought this was a very cohesive release with some of the best songs I’ve heard from the artist. Highly recommended.
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