Alt-folkie Oliver James Brooks has released his intimate new acoustic album
Toronto alt-folk rocker Oliver James Brooks lays bare his personal state of mind this past winter on his new acoustic, live-off-the floor album, I Don’t But I Will.
“It’s an intimate, acoustic-only album that was… born out of necessity,” Oliver said. “There’s something very personal and powerful — and a little scary — when you go into the studio, let everything out from inside, and leave with something that ultimately timestamps your feelings at that exact moment.
“When it came to the recording process, I wanted to ensure everything captured was completely honest and genuine. I didn’t want what I was feeling to hide behind any special effects or anything like that.
“It’s the reason why I recorded the album live off the floor,” he continued, noting the Feb. 2 recording date – pre-physical distancing measures – at Toronto’s Berkeley Sound with Jack Emblem (engineering, mixing) and João Carvalho (mastering) on deck. “No over-dubbing, just two microphones, one guitar, and one harmonica.”
Oliver James Brooks first set the scene with his 2019 take-notice debut, A Turn in the Bend. Written and mostly recorded while living in Brooklyn, NY, the eight-track LP quickly cemented the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s ability to capture and creatively express nuance in an intuitive, layered and carefully considered way.
“A Turn in the Bend was inspired by the prevalent contrast between two landscapes: Brooklyn and the small town in Ontario where I grew up,” he recalled. “When it comes to the recording process — including I Don’t But I Will — capturing sounds that are unrehearsed and unexpected is just as important as the words themselves.
“It’s what I feel gives music impulse and emotion.
“A song or album can easily lose its meaning if the sound becomes too clinical or robotic, so everything is recorded with great care in order to maintain its originality and realness.”