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The intoxicating mix of acid blues, doom-wop and rock n’roll which infuses James Brute’s new EP Lost Soul Music may have its roots in that of his former band The Brute Chorus, but it belies a deeper, more reflective tone from this mature and confident songwriter. These four songs of love, loss and lusts take their time to settle into the brooding soundscapes that wrap themselves around his trademark magpie lyrical style.
Starting out as a duo with guitarist and long-term collaborator Mat Martin, the first single from a post-Chorus James Brute was 2014’s Bury Yourself – a high-energy a cappella stamp-and-clap affair which was picked up by John Kennedy at Radio X and described by the NME as sounding “like Tom Waits trapped in a sex dungeon”. The song garnered plays on X and 6 Music, and quickly became a favourite at the growing band’s live shows in support of artists such as Nadine Shah, Kingsley Chapman and the Murder, John J Presley and Furs, alongside legendary basement parties under Hackney’s now defunct Railroad Café.
Lost Soul Music is Brute’s first release since 2014, and comes with a growth in personnel to match the expansion in sound. Now a five-piece band, James Brute is accompanied by Mat Martin (guitar, vocals & percussion), Dave Ferrett (bass, vocals & percussion), Johnny Manning (keyboards and percussion) and Findlay William Brown (drums).
“A must see for anyone with a hankering for bleak-abilly blues.” – NME
“Phenomenal.” – Danielle Perry, Absolute Radio