Tall, skinny, quiet and unassuming, Braden Land is a radioactive spyship in disguise. He may not be a household name (yet), but it would be wise to get this potent singer-songwriter on your radar now.
Seemingly tapped into a secret, glowing fold of time-space, Land oozes engaging songs easy to immerse yourself in. They are heartfelt, tinged with sadness, like stepping in a puddle on a steamy day after heavy rains.
Land writes, sings and plays fat with feeling. He poetically presents real life subjects – possibly contrived, possibly tales direct from his real young life, definitely stoked with and backed by truth. His steady acoustic guitar, occasionally layered with harmonica, is full enough to accompany Land’s killer vocals, which are somewhere along the lines of ring-around-the-rosie with Dylan, Townes Van Zandt and Lowell George. Big icons for comparison, I know. This gawky, teenaged-looking guy surprisingly houses the enormous weight of an iron-core magnet with a laser presence so huge he left a hole in the carpet where he stood and a scar burned into my soul memory plate.
Amy is the saddest song, craftily giving glimpses of a love story ended when his lover took her own life. The refrain gently haunts, “Amy touched me on my sleeve but I swear I can feel her icy fingers on my heart.”
The Jimmy Song, officially known as Better Than You, tells, from the perspective of a formerly silenced ally or victim, about a man (perhaps a father figure or peer) who is abusive to his woman.”Jimmy get out of here…She deserves better than you.” Humbly sung, it doubly speaks of the power of transition from bullied to no longer fearful.
One More Song, One More Mile, another Braden Land original, will have you scouring your brain for reference with its instant folk-rock classic appeal.
Land evokes the marriage of a slow-paced Little Feat favorite with a Glenn Frey Eagle’s tune in Time Killing You.
Evangeline Tonight in video form is pure bone-chilling beauty. Land, steady and grounded, appears to reside in the company of angels. His fluid, rolling guitar creates space for his velvety tobacco voice to usher in beams of otherworldy light.
More quickly paced, Green As A Vine rushes along like a bubbly stream on a sunny high-mountain day. It bears the comfortable kinship to a familiar U2 sonic-scape, translated folkstyle with an awesome harmonica culmination.
Take note of Braden Land now. I have the feeling someday soon you’ll be saying, ‘Oh yeah, I heard that guy’s stuff on the Luxury Wafers site.’
Listen to the tracks (option/click to download):