Brian Halloran – ‘Overnumerousness’

Strutting a radiant, melodic array of indie pop, Overnumerousness is the upcoming album from Brian Halloran, out on May 7th. The follow-up to last year’s The Cocktail Hour, Halloran’s latest continues to showcase an innate tendency for hooky, effervescent builds with pop/rock appeal. Alongside a number of talented collaborators, Halloran wrote, performed, and produced Overnumerousness.

Opening track “A.K.A.” is exemplary of Halloran’s compelling songcraft and its range of emotions, from humorous wit to heart-on-sleeve introspection. “I got no prospects, got no game, and I never put my heart out on the line,” the vocals commiserate amidst perky piano, clap-laden percussion, and guitar swipes. “I could never date a Britney, I’m not cut out for the suburbs, I am burned out by the city,” they continue, lamenting a sense of pickiness that’s the result of a missed opportunity — “could have been with you all this time.”

Themes of feeling stuck in limbo, searching for connection and relationship, continue on the subsequent “I Got Nothing for You.” Playful organs and steady guitars drive alongside poignant laments on dating apps, which tend to encourage the same sort of pickiness that’s self-critiqued on the opening “A.K.A.” — it makes for a witty commentary on how a modern society built for bite-sized content can inspire unrealistic standards.

A soulful pop charisma — with shades of The Style Council — impresses on the album’s lead single, “Hip Flask.” A debonair vocal charisma comes via Halloran and singer/songwriter Michelle Rescigno, with their duet invigorating alongside melodic guitar lines and shining organs. The track’s music features co-writing from Emmett O Malley, who produced the previous album, The Cocktail Hour.

Various aesthetical pursuits complement Halloran’s inviting pop songwriting, with a notable example being “Always In The Wrong Place.” Lush vocal reflections combine with frolicking guitar work for a sophisti-pop entrancement, with the enjoining vocals and twinkling keys stirring during the chorus; its ’80s new-wave and synth-pop influences show proudly. Elsewhere, “The New Math” meshes bouncy bass, chiming keys, and jangling guitars for a Brit-pop nostalgia — showing shades of The Jam. For the album’s sound in general, the seamless shifting between soulful pop and hooky rock reminds of Paul Weller.

Album finale “The MacGuffin” envelops with a heartfelt retrospection, taking inspiration from Elvis Costello. “You’re not getting what you need,” the weary vocals admit, with the “sorry that you did the deed,” punctuation reflective of a man having second thoughts about his involvement in an affair with an unhappily married woman. The theme again resonates, and ties in with a cohesive enthrallment throughout Overnumerousness, which showcases the various facets of the human experience with love — from searching for a soulmate, to striving to keep a fading relationship alive. Overnumerousness pairs memorably melodic songwriting with riveting lyrical prowess.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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