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JFH Indie Review

JFH Indie Music Spotlight Review

Brian Bulger

Brian Bulger
Nine of Ten

Street Date: April 4, 2019
Style: Folk
Official Site: Official Website



Brian Bulger is an indie-folk artist who has recently released a new album, titled Nine of Ten. Bulger mixes alternative sounds, poetry and more with his folk stylings and writes about things that he says he cannot say out loud -- such as grief, love, family, bitterness and so many more deep feelings. The the huge influx of indie-folk artists in recent years has caused the scene to become pretty saturated, but when a new flavor is added to the sound, the music begins to rise above.

The album opens with the track "Hot Metal" and offers a great blend of folk acoustic guitar, alternative electric guitar, piano and fantastic harmonies. The lyrics explore a regretful conversation, hurtful words exchanged, and the pain that's left afterward. It's an extremely solid opening number that really sets the mood for what's to come -- though the album doesn't reach this tempo again. From here, the album takes on a much more somber and melancholy sound musically and a lot of the content explores grief, hurt, and pain. "Golden" goes away from this message a bit and turns to the subject of love. It's a beautiful song and features a really great guest vocal appearance. The strange part about the recording is that the main acoustic riff only plays on the right side when listening in stereo. The vocals come through both sides, as well as the backing instrumentation. Another song of note is the highly dynamic "Scared Again." The verses are mid-temp acoustic with some drums and strings, but the chorus builds to a much bigger and stronger sound. "Pray You Find God" is the most spiritual song on the album, but talks more about struggles with belief and the misnomers of "religion." However, the last verse finds him truly discovering God. The album closes with "On the Mend," which seems like a fitting closer, given the amount of hurt and pain covered lyrically. Bulger closes by repeatedly singing, "Everything; everything breathes again. Everything; everything on the mend."

Nine of Ten is a deep dive and undoubtedly covers a lot of ground in painful themes, but it's an honest look on life events. The album is beautifully constructed, and the musical backdrop is stunning. The main acoustic guitar is pretty steady, but the other instrumental elements add so much to each song. The entire album is a bit of a slow burn to make it through its 45-minute run time, but the experience is rewarding. "Hot Metal" is a track that almost everyone can relate to; "Golden" is a pretty love song; and "Scared Again" is an undeniably dynamic listen. All of these are great starting places if you're looking for a jumping off point. I do want to mention the mild profanity found in "Blood" as Bulger exclaims, "The whole d*mn world is fine" on three separate occasions. In the end, Brian Bulger has released a stellar record that I look forward to listening to and discovering more into the future.

- Review date: 5/5/19, written by Michael Weaver of Jesusfreakhideout.com


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JFH Indie Spotlight Review . Record Label: None
. Album length: 10 tracks: 45 minutes, 17 seconds
. Street Date: April 4, 2019
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: AmazonMP3
. Buy It: Bandcamp

  1. Hot Metal (3:53)
  2. Long Haired Boy (4:38)
  3. The Daylight Walks on Home (3:56)
  4. Dance Until We're Gone (4:25)
  5. The Painter (4:36)
  6. Golden (5:28)
  7. Scared Again (4:55)
  8. Pray You Find God (4:27)
  9. Blood (3:09)
  10. On the Mend (5:50)

 

 

 

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