Brain Andrew, the L.A. based electronic pop artist, feels like a well-kept secret. The enigmatic songwriter borrowing from R&B soul and dance music vehemence, and endeavors to present it in an ethereal form, drenched with reverb. In this way, Andrew isn't the only artist testing the limits of blending enigmatic production with danceable beats, but his interests seem more intricate than mere aesthetics.
Through decades of following his creative energy before finally relocating to Los Angeles, the Jacksonville native has consistently developed his sound, always refining in tone and sharpening in execution. With 2020 as a fresh start, Brian Andrew proves that he has a propensity for infusing electro-pop danceability with ambient quality.
"My Baby" and "Break Me," are the freshest cuts from the L.A. artist, and in them, he gives us two distinctive taste of his musical truisms. With these two songs, Brian Andrews takes us from what feels like vibing out in an after-hours night club to being burnt out somewhere on the corner street of a late-night shawarma watering hole. It's Danceable mixed with Enigma, and lethargy infused with haze. Even though each track finds a highlight in their unique individual applications, we're split between awaiting more out of the production and just accepting it for what is it—an experimental and minimalistic variation in electro-dance-pop.
"Break Me," takes on a ghostlike silhouette with a minimalistic production consisting of ambient pads and a clattering of hi-hats atop a laid back and reserved drum-beat. The topline mostly consists of ominous swoons and wavering lyrics that sometimes present unintelligible in their volume. However, still, the mantra manages to seep into our subconscious, inducing a hypnotized state.
"Break Me" is reminiscent of the type of overlooked interlude track you find on a dark-pop record, whimsically murky, ominously reserved, and somewhat minimalistic in nature. It slowly grows on you, even if it seems to waiver in the shadow of its predecessor track.
The highlight amongst the two tracks is "My Baby." Here, Brian Andrew possesses a propensity for taking '90s dance energy—prominent from the "Four to the Flour" beat on the kick drum—and manifests a unique ethereal and ominous atmosphere with his filtered out, and saturated vocal croons. Drenched in reverb, Andrew's voice grabs hold at the wheel, commandeering our attention with a pitch bending topline. As the lyrics comment on love, an electromagnetic field builds up in the piece as a whole. It slowly begins to indicate some sense of development as the drum production keeps things moving together, providing a steadfast route for Andrew's vocals to swim in the ambiance of his hanging atmosphere.
He establishes the creative concepts behind his electro-pop application with high accuracy, settling into a more dance-based framework with easy. It comes off durable in nature, only really appearing short-sited in its uniformity and lack of progression over the verbose synth topline. But still, Brian Andrew demonstrates an accurate representation of what makes electro-pop songs work under the pretenses of his unique aesthetic. Brian Andrews' only solidifies 2020 as a significant step in his development and progression as an electro-pop artist with these two releases—incorporating addictive backbeats into his ambient sonic landscapes that drive his music home.
What was your mindset like going into the writing and production process of these two tracks?
Producing the tracks was kind of tricky for me because I made the basis of both on my phone. I had never done that before and wasn’t sure of how they’d turn out. Surprisingly to me, I loved them and decided to write to them. When it came to lyrics I just wanted to write on my thoughts about love; not just about the emotion, but the spirit and the true experience of it.
Can you comment on any of the primary emotions or themes you wanted to highlight in each track individually?
With “My Baby” I drew inspiration from my relationship to start with, but then started elaborating on it with the experiences I’ve gained. I feel too many people give up on love, especially when things get rough; instead of realizing that it takes patience, understanding, and seeing things through the eyes of others. It is definitely a journey into the unknown because I feel what society has dubbed as love is a fabrication or a fantasy. It goes way deeper than any of our understanding. That goes for love in general whether it be in a romantic relationship, family, friends, or even with one's self. For “Break Me,” I used this song to speak on how I was when confronted by love. I put up so many emotional barriers, because of past burns instead of treating a new experience, as such. I felt like I needed to be broken in order to recalibrate how I went about learning to love someone new and to let go of the fear of past experiences; because they truly have no place in my new life. If someone is there for you through every moment whether it be the good or the terrible or your most crazy, that is a person worth becoming vulnerable and opening up for.
What has been the most challenging part of settling into the city of Los Angeles as someone relocating from Jacksonville, Florida?
It’s pretty cliché, but being away from my family and my closest friends were and are still kind of a hurdle I’m getting over. Not having that source of comfort being a 15-minute drive away makes you have to find comfort within yourself, and for me; in the Almighty. Even though I’m in a relationship and have them to lean on, that feeling of home is only understood by those from home. While there is a lot of love that is abundantly shared between other artists here, this city is very cut-throat in so many aspects. If you’re not trying to make something out of yourself and really work at it as you’ve never done before, don’t move here.
What can we expect from you in the next coming months? Do you plan on collaborating with anyone soon, or maybe releasing a full-length EP?
I have many plans for the rest of the year. I find it important to have at the very least “soft goals” to work towards. I am currently recording the rest of my first EP and hope to have it out soon. I do have some collaborations planned, but nothing set in stone just yet. Right now I’m mainly focused on getting this first EP done and out.
What has been keeping you inspired in 2020?
Oh, 2020 ... haha! You know, this year is definitely a blessing in disguise. It really is about shifting your perspective. I personally lost my job and means of transportation and felt incredibly discouraged at first. I then realized I only got what I had been begging God for; more time to focus on my music! I guess my main inspiration has just been life in general. Should you decide to see and acknowledge it, life is really what you make it. It’s easy to make excuses or convince yourself your excuses are legit “reasons” for not living to your highest potential. But easy gets you nowhere, and I like to go places.