I’ve been enjoying keeping in touch to what those BrunchBox guys are up to. The Sheffield trio just produce complex, clever, pretty darn perfect indie pop, and I’ve totally enjoyed the vibe in their tracks released during lockdown. It says something for the band that the childhood friends (Andrew Thomas, Vox and Guitar, Joe Marke, Bass, and Gabriel Cole, Drums), took a hiatus while they went to University, and are now back with a bang, clearly loving producing music, exploring just what they can achieve, and sharing their spoils for the sheer positive love of music.
The latest release from BrunchBox is a consistently high quality near half hour 10 track EP Golden Hour, Endless. There’s a great mix in the BrunchBox sound but what is consistent is the sheer accessibility of their tunes. These are songs that you hit it off with from the off and become easy friends. To my ear, there’s something of the relaxed consistent quality of bands like Crowded House or The Night Cafe, and fans of the likes of Bull, Taxi With Strangers and The Royston Club would be comfortable too with a virtual hug from BrunchBox.
Most of the songs were originally produced as demos and sketches back in 2017-18 and then given a refresh and given a full sound lush makeover. I agree with the band that these songs were just too good to languish on an old laptop somewhere.
While the tracks are musically rich, what shines through is the purity and honesty of Andrew’s voice. There’s the feel for the storyteller, and I’m reminded of Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend). The highlights of the EP must be with the sweet harmony, strong guitar riff and earnest and crisp tones of Ocean, the confident bounce of Palace, or the complexity of Dreaming.
More recent times has seen the lads experimenting with the autotune and inspiration from the likes of the smooth sounds of BROCKHAMPTON. I tend to dislike vocal autotune (thanks a bunch Cher), but the lads do a great job with it on their track Sun/Burbank, and it adds to the track rather than detracts. One of the more reflective tracks on the EP is the dream weaver Skyline (Reprise), which is a perfect companion to the harder original which is also on the EP.
There’s so much packed into Golden Hour, Endless that I’d happily play it twice back-to-back to get to that Golden Hour. Endless might be a bold suggestion, but I could give it a go given the diversity and quality of sound here.