Scott Brookman “Smellicopter”
Brookman has expanded his sound from the charming debut and funded his efforts with Kickstarter. A more sophisticated arranger and songwriter emerges, as we start with “Tim E. Redmond” with equal doses of Brian Wilson and Paul Simon influencing the structure.
Fans of the bedroom DIY pop symphonies will appreciate “Summer’s Two Weeks Notice” with its layered Beach Boys harmonies, and then “To Find Your Happiness” has a healthy dose of Burt Bacharach worship. Some of these tunes are very lite sketches, like “Inspected by Curly,” but others cross into greatness like “Iceberglar” and the McCartneyesque “I Could Use Some New Friends.” Brookman’s production has also improved, so even a fun character study “Weirdos” makes for enjoyable summer listening. Highly Recommended.
Todd Herfindal “Right Here Now”
On his 2nd album Todd Herfindal plays solid roots oriented power pop, and like his bandmate, Rich McCulley (who co-wrote many songs here) makes it sound great. Starting with “Keeping Me Up Nights” it’s a sweet jangling melody along the lines of Tom Petty. “She Can Run” and “More Than I” lean more alt. country, but are also up-beat and memorable. Some singles in this collection have been previously released, but they fit like a glove with the newer material.
The environmental anthem “Shine Shine” is another big standout, along with “Closer To Home.” After the mid-point, a bit more slide guitar becomes prominent on “Everything Is Ours” and “You Might Just Make It.” Many talented sidemen (McCulley, Adam Marsland, Will Kimbrough, Ryan Bradley, etc.) keep the sound rich and pitch perfect. Overall, no filler here as fans of Americana styled roots rock will absolutely love this.