Brandyn Burnette has been all over the music scene in the past few years. He’s opened for big names such as John Bellion and John Mayer, and is half of the group entitled Cosmos & Creatures. A few days ago he just dropped his second solo act of the past couple years, and it’s a shocker. Almost entirely self produced, Brandyn‘s “State I’m In” is one that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Almost entirely self produced, Brandyn Burnette‘s new EP “State I’m In” fully demonstrates his compositional prowess.
He calls the style progressive soul, and says that he’s really enjoyed the freedom self-producing gives him to feel out his own sound. “State I’m In” is a seven piece EP, and expresses an overall motif of emotional healing. It opens up with a grand piano in “Underneath”, and sets the scene nicely. Brandyn sings about the “calm in the confusion”, using a clever foreshadowing for the lyrical prowess to come. The snare entrance about a third of the way into the piece is well executed. It marks the tempo increase, and shows good transitional work. Too many songs today just have an abnormally long pause and then start again with a quicker tempo. This is both lazy and commonplace. Brandyn immediately shows off his skills as a composer by breaking this norm.
“Worship” follows as the second track, and provides an interesting contrast to the opener. Personally I don’t think he really needs the first eight bars or so – it’s an unnecessary edition. After the lyrical depth of the first piece, the chorus of “Worship” feels a bit empty. That being said, the instrumental layering is still of a much higher quality than any generic pop. I also appreciated the violin at the end, as it added a nice soothing touch.
The third track, “Inner Child”, opens with a crackly radio that immediately sets the scene for a flashback song. Weighing in at a mere two minutes nine seconds, it’s a short track in classic flashback style. Brandyn sings an open letter apology, but it feels as if it’s not really to anyone, as if it’s too little coming far too late. The spoken word song provides a nice injection of frustration into the EP.
Four songs in and we reach the song “Karma”. I don’t think the reverberated clap fits with this particular piece, but I see why it’s included. Brandyn uses the reverb clap to carry the beat throughout “State I’m In”, and it provides a continuity across the different sounds explored throughout. I did appreciate the appearance of the muted brass in the background, but wish it had become more prominent in both the song and the overall EP.
I’ll start by saying that I really enjoy the piece “Closer” by itself. However, I don’t really think it fits the feel of the rest of the release. I see where Brandyn wanted to go with it, but don’t know if he ever arrived. Instrumentally it fits, but emotionally I just can’t see it. Taken by itself though, it’s a fantastic piece, with a catchy sound and a sing-along quality.
Again Mr. Burnette shows his prowess for instrumental layering in “Set in Stone”. He avoids that awkward pause we discussed earlier, keeping the class of the EP intact. The singing style is slightly varied as compared to the other tunes, but is refreshing rather than annoying. Overall it’s a solid piece that further demonstrates the artists versatility.
The last song is entitled “State I’m In“, a reflection of the EP title. It wraps everything up nicely – a peaceful conclusion to the emotional rollercoaster that is the previous six tracks. It expresses the theme concisely, by stating that even though we struggle sometimes, we must “find a way to kill the pain”.
Brandyn Burnette‘s new EP “State I’m In” fully demonstrates his compositional prowess. Although it has some trouble at times maintaining continuity, it allows him to show off his personal niche of musical style, and is executed beautifully.