Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review: Broken Quote - Foreshadowing Sunlight EP

Music represents many things to many people. For some, it’s a source of fun and partying. For others, music serves to fill in the gaps, pushing back the silence. For rising artist Broken Quote, music has been a lifesaver.

The Houston, Texas native took to music early on, taking to songwriting even before he could read a note or play an instrument, offering him a way to relate to and process the world around him.
“Music opened up a part of me I didn’t even know was there,” the artist shares. “It taught me lessons, comforted me, scared me, challenged me and brought focus to my life, helping me grow as a person. Writing music is how I process my experience."

He soon took to taking up instrument after instrument, learning to play by ear but it was when the artist was diagnosed with a chronic pain condition that threatened to sideline his musical journey. Yet, the artist dug deep and persevered and continued to expand his horizons, learning guitar, piano, synthesizer, sampling, and even steel drums while taking in the influential sounds of artists like Eyedea, Bjork, Radiohead, and Parliament Funkadelic, setting the stage for a diverse musical platform.
That’s a platform that Broken Quote puts to good use on his latest EP, Foreshadowing Sunlight. Here the artist taps into his pain alongside his inspiration and the result is something very dramatic. Playing like an ambient film study soundtrack, Foreshadowing Sunlight presents five experimental tracks that showcase a dark, moody soundscape that seems to resonate from the artist’s daily pain.

“Ghost Train” leads the EP off, programmed beats and an ethereal electronic filter laying the groundwork for gently sung vocals, the occasional twinges of sound that appear providing a sense of mystery along the way. Ambient sounds open “Late Night Ocean,” the slight distortion lending itself to thoughts of being underwater before being joined by some ambling percussion and the surprise sound of steel drums which tap out a bright rhythm that is juxtaposed against the music’s darker landscape.
Broken Quote taps into his piano skills for “Glass Ceiling,” opening with a restless note that merges into a dissonant backbeat and a trippy explosion of sound. Restless and energetic, the song threatens to come into form as something more conventional but then blasts out again into an experimental vibe complete with distorted electric guitar trilling its way through the track. Those elements subside a bit and the steel drums return on “Sparks Water the Seeds,” the artist continuing to show a unique ability with the instrument as he coaxes some compelling rhythms from them while album closer “Mispronounce” is the album’s most conventional track. Here, Broken Quote revisits his earlier lyric, singing around a subtle acoustic guitar embellished by some simple electrical elements that lend it a dreamy quality while his voice, honest and weary, gives it grounding.

Broken Quote’s life has been one of perseverance and hardship and that reflects in his music, especially here on Foreshadowing Sunlight. Yet, despite the darker tones of the artist’s sounds, there is beauty to be found here in the truth and authenticity through which it is delivered. Not an easy listen and definitely not Top 40 material but for those willing to explore and experiment, much like the artist himself, there is plenty good to be found here.

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