4-Track Songs: A Sneak Peek Into Peter Broderick’s Home.

A collection of home-recorded drafts and improvisations may sound like a puzzling follow-up to the polished folk of Home and the vibrant modern classic Music For Falling From Trees. At least not one to render his ever-growing rollout of projects more intelligible to a wider audience. Yet, more than any of his previous works, this 25 short tracks give a vivid overview of Peter Broderick’s sound palette… and maybe more.

Peter Broderick - 4 Track SongsThe opening “Untitled” and its fingerpicked austere bass versus chanting trebles accompanying Broderick’s voice immediately evokes his Bella Union release, while the following “Piano and Rain” is a fit illustration of his gift for unpretentious new classic experiments. Other pieces come as a surprise, like the down-tempo trip-hopish “Walking/Thinking” and the drony electro melancholy of “A Low End Rumble”. “For Pop”’s banjo shows an unprecedented country-music inversion.

Nevertheless, this few departing notes do not seem to weaken the ensemble, quite on the contrary. Bearing in mind that this is not just a demo to any of Peter’s latest releases but the 2006 random recordings, audio post-its, and research of a 19-year-old Oregon-based session musician, such heterogeneity is symptomatic of two of Peter Broderick’s greatest strengths: the open-mindedness and spontaneity of a young hard-to-categorize multi-instrumentalist.

If several folk songs in the collection fail to stand up to his 2008 album, more instrumental tracks simply bloom in the stark arrangements allowed by the 4-track recorder. The theme of Float in “More of a Composition”, a mind-blowingly fully-grown newborn, is simply transfigured. From creaking stools to swelling strings, with a pinch of throat-rattling, and a fine sprinkling of field recording, 4-Track Songs is not only a nice insight into Broderick’s workflow, it is a wonderful and moving immersion into his creative process, an unsettling journey among the intimate clutter of music instruments and sonic tropisms. In the semi-darkness of lo-fi recording, his usual blend of tense melancholy and almost naive serenity takes on a tangibly human glimmer.

Initially collected as a teaser for Type records, these 25 4-Track Songs may well set an inspiring foretaste of what Peter Broderick could achieve if he were to grow out of frames and musical genres. And for all the joy his music has brought us so far, let’s pray he eventually does!

Read Peter Broderick’s interview by our Captn.

Buy Peter Broderick “4-Track Songs” on CD, 2LP, or digital from Boomkat.com.