Brendan Byrnes – “Groundswell” + “Everything”


Balancing idiosyncratic tonal pursuits with melodic structural direction, Los Angeles-based artist Brendan Byrnes continues to craft engaging songs that align with xenharmonic concepts. Re-fretted guitars, re-tuned synths, and microtonal envelopment show across the artist’s range of songs, which recently include the tracks “Groundswell” and “Everything.”

“Groundswell” exudes a spacey psych-rock appeal in its initial array of sprawling guitars and glistening effects. A bouncy bass line signals a more post-punk arsenal, further bolstered by nonchalant vocal immersion. The escalating vocal ferocity excels into a wordless, soaring effects amidst the caressing strums; the track fully compels in its range between delectably experimental rock unpredictability and post-punk familiarity. The guitar solo past the three-minute turn is another scorching, fantastic showcase.

Another success, “Everything” builds from hypnotic intrigue into hazy, dexterous rises. “This trippy, left-field pop song was composed in a strange, but oddly beautiful tuning system with notes not found in regular western harmony,” Byrnes explains. “The song is about creating your own world and finding purpose while ignoring the real world.” A hollow-body electric guitar features, using 27 notes per octave instead of 12, and the result is magnetic. “Everything” marks the first single from a double EP, Transfigured Earth (part 1 and 2).

These and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Emerging Singles’ Spotify playlist.

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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