Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

EP: Brooklyn Doran

March 6, 2015

brooklyndoran

Brooklyn Doran‘s There’s a Light On shows off a clear, bright, unadorned voice and arrangements of corresponding class. Doran has a singer/songwriter’s heart, but she’s got enough vintage torch in her songs that muted trumpet, stand-up bass, gentle bongos and staccato piano play a big role.

Four of the five tunes stick to the smoky lounge club vibe: “Cold Outside” and “Look Away” sound like the club is in 1920s Brooklyn due to the arrangements, while “Lansdowne” and “S.S. Calamity (Sink This Ship)” sound like the late ’90s or early ’00s in their gentle, piano-forward approach. “S.S. Calamity” builds into a show-stopper musically and vocally, while “Lansdowne” builds its emotive core off her evocative vocals. They’re all slow, smoldering, yearning.

Then there’s the title track, which is a perky, charming neo-trad-jazz tune with a great vocal melody and an infectious vibe. “There’s a Light On” uses modern background vocals, that muted trumpet, and fun percussion to really sell the song. It’s short and simple, but the songwriting is excellent: it doesn’t overstay its welcome, and it gets me to push play again.

Brooklyn Doran’s debut EP There’s a Light On puts forward remarkably mature songwriting, arranging, and production. She’s got that special something, and it’s not obscured in any way on this EP. These five songs pass quick, but they won’t be the only thing you hear from Doran. You should get to know the work of Brooklyn Doran.

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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