BRYNN - Querencia (Album Review)
Cape Town-based alt/folk/rock quintet BRYNN is the product of a few of South Africa's finest musicians: Jules Terea, Hezron Chetty, David Van Vuuren (Southern Wild), Alex Smillie (Southern Wild) and Eddy Kriel. This stellar cast’s powerful performances, potent lyrics, theatrical energy, and fresh yet complex musicality have left audiences awestruck and demanding an album. Now, BRYNN delivers. “Our mission is to express through music what we feel living in today's world,” says frontman Jules Terea. “We want to create an experience that can hopefully help us all feel a little less alone.”
The Spanish word ‘querencia’ is defined as, “a place from which one's strength is drawn, where one feels at home; the place where you are your most authentic self”. This theme is drawn through the album, with powerful lyrics like: “...don’t forget to remind yourself that you are free ‘cause after all isn’t that what they tell you every night on your TV screen?”
We had the complete honour and pleasure of listening to Querencia before its release on 14 March, and here’s what we found:
From the first notes of this album you can hear the style of album art in the music. [About Time] Deep artistry carefully balanced with a story, intense harmony and elaborate melody. The musicians are fantastic, with a vast array of instruments including violin and brass. It’s a timeless style of writing with something unexpected just around the corner, a really fresh combination of rock and world music. A humble biased opinion based on the first track. From track one, it’s becoming more difficult to define what this genre exactly is. [Querencia] It’s a calling and a longing. Sweet chords progressions and very cool vocal phrasing of the lyrics on the golden groove pocket created by the drums, bass and guitar throughout the tune. Such a vocally creative track.
[White Collar Kings] The vocal in the intro is simply amazing. A Stylish title with a truly golden message packed in a massive and beautiful slow song. The poetry amazing with a slow powerful chorus and the unusual vocal accent of this singer is charming and unique [Noose Knots] the grooves sway and change. Is that the African continent we hear? A stand-out for this violinist. So badass.
[Already Blind] Dark and twisted guitar lines met with an amazingly resolving groove and progression, the violin is so great on this song. That story sucks you right it, you can almost hear the legacy of Chris Chameleon for a split second, the space created between the vocal and lead instruments is lovely. This song is really an emotional joyride. [Vultures] as mentioned earlier, this album’s specific genre is hard to define as this tune draws quite a bit from a jazz side of things. A Vocal and a guitar and a whole lot of space. [Cotton Mind] Their first tender ballad led by an acoustic guitar this song is almost difficult to listen to, and by that we mean it really scratches your emotions , it’s really convincing. The arrangement is simple, to make space for a sombre and stunning vocal. Listening to this at 1AM is a great idea, you’ll really feel something.
[Claire] At this part of the album the songs are smaller. This ballad is uplifting, slow and touches on a feel of folk, the piano leading the rhythm of the progressions decisively, covered in glossy acoustic guitars. It resolves the tension set by the preceding tune but keeps the album soft and delicate. [Who You Are]. It’s big, serious and slow. The verse groove is powerful, and the lyrics confronting and reflective. A Great close to a fantastic story of an album.
Amazing song writing paired with perfect synergy between lead instruments and a fantastic album production, our country is privileged to hear this kind of music. This album is a marriage between world music, rock, folk some jazz, and many others influences, and it does an amazing job of creating its own unique sound while carefully referencing all these genres. Every song is a story and a journey on its own, with a flawless flow between songs. A real artistic masterpiece.
BRYNN, in their short existence, has been attracting crowds and boasting main stage slots at festivals like Up The Creek, Smoking Dragon and River Republic. They also recently opened the stage for international legends, Incubus, during their South African tour in February. The show also marked the first of their Querencia album launch tour, spanning nationwide in March this year.
Upcoming tour dates:
- 2 March: Thirst @ 28 Degrees East, Pretoria (with The Oh So Serious)
- 3 March: Spark Festival, Nelspruit
- 4 March: Railways Cafe, Centurion (with Bye Beneco)
- 9 March: Mercury Live, Cape Town (official album launch with Hezron Chetty & The ZugZwang, Southern Wild and Crimson House)
Querencia will be available on Deezer, Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Google Play on 14 March.
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For more information, the album for review or interview requests with BRYNN please contact Ice Carstens at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 074 883 4159.