Brother & Co., led by identical twin brothers Josh and John Pritchard, will release their debut full-length album Unknow You on June 4th, 2013, a disc inspired by album-oriented popular rock music of the 1970s and 80s.
Recorded at Q Division Studios (Somerville, MA) over three days in January 2013, Unknow You explores themes of relationships and identity; how we classify the past, mark the present, lose people, meet people, and experience the push and pull between our real and imagined selves. The record’s first single “Still Love,” (March 14, 2013) reached #4 on the WZLX Boston Emission’s Top Five Local Songs Poll the week it debuted.
Brother & Co. represents a new appreciation for collaboration, as well. “My brother and I co-wrote some of the material, and we were also fortunate to get a great group of Boston-area musicians and engineers involved. We were all in it to make the record a lasting collection,” said Josh. Unknow You marks the first time that Josh and John Pritchard have co-written, penning the tracks “I Ain’t Understanding It” and “Husband Hill.”
Unknow You isn’t really a pop record or a contemporary folk record or a rock record. It defies classification and yet will capture the hearts of many pop, folk and rock fans alike. That is because this is a collection of timeless music made all the more memorable by Josh and John Pritchard’s delicate but intense musings on life, love and loss.
There is something primal about the music on this album, a kind of stripped down beauty hinting at the power it possesses, without blatantly brandishing it. Brother & Co. discard almost everything that is not essential to the song structures and story-lines. In fact all of the excessive trappings of modern studio recording are forged ahead into fundamental, organic territory.
The album production is warm and extremely spacious, with a handful of acoustic and electric instruments sprinkled throughout. Each player neglects virtuoso performances in exchange to contributing to the overall dynamic, the album is geared towards.
Judging by the overall quality, it’s surprising that this album took only 3 days to record. The eleven songs contained here essentially defy any kind of boxed and cookie-cutter description, as there is little ground for comparison with any music I’ve heard lately. It would be easier to borrow comparisons from the past, like Dire Straits or Chris Rea, and even traces of Pink Floyd can be found, sprinkled around the album. “Husband Hill”, being a perfect example of this theory.
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Each song on Unknow You has a strong rhythmic basis but the atmosphere remains mellow and contained throughout, while guitars abound in liberty. The understated yet extremely powerful vocals fit the delicate, but intense nature of the songs perfectly. The opener ‘Anti-‘ starts out with jaw dropping percussion and descends into a verse and chorus that is soaked in ethereal harmonies. ‘Still Love’ has a John Mayer feel and groovy up-tempo section right in the middle, which melts back into the chorus so easily, it’s hard to comprehend how clever it all is. ‘I Ain’t Understanding It’ is another intimate Floydish interpretation, with Pritchard baring his heart over a sprawling piano-based arrangement. And these are not even the standout tracks, I’m talking about!
My outright favorites being, “Drawing Board”, “When I Lived Out West” and “Unmentioned”. All in all this is powerful, cathartic, raw, emotional and essential music in its most pure form, done exactly as it should be done; without a hint of pretension, and all skills used effectively, creating music that is challenging but ultimately very accessible and never boring. Unknow You is utterly unique in today’s music scene and that seems reason enough to recommend it to everyone. Brother & Co. deliver an incomparable experience and simply one of the best albums indie albums to be released so far this year.
Brother & Co. will tour in support of Unknow You with performances throughout New England, including Boston and New York, through the remainder of 2013.
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