Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this afternoon’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Gina Brooklyn, a sixteen year old singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist hailing from Akron, Ohio. The young musician has just recently put out a new studio endeavor, her eponymous six track debut EP. The short of collection of songs is a wonderfully fascinating listen, well worth exploring in great depth. Thus, let’s go ahead and do just that!
Out of the gate, Brooklyn is reminiscent of, perhaps, Lorde. She has a very similar soft-spoken croon and her voice is remarkably elegant, aged well beyond her years. ‘Faceless,’ the introduction to the young songwriter on the record, is a punchy synthesizer-infused pop song with an especially fantastic beat. The nuances to Brooklyn’s vocal performance on ‘Faceless’ are breathtaking. Her voice is delicate, yet poised and powerful when necessary.
The haunting ‘Supposed to Be’ is a surprising piece of music, essentially resolving an existential crisis in less than three minutes. The revelations of self-identity are, again, far beyond Brooklyn’s years. These are the kind of musings often at play in one’s adulthood, not when they’re turning sixteen. The emotional maturity exhibited on this record is incredibly impressive. (It also helps the piano composition on ‘Supposed to Be’ is gorgeous, too.)
The punchy, acoustic-led ‘Follow Me’ is a nice shift of pace from the two more melancholy pieces of music that precede it, offering insight into a side of Brooklyn’s songwriting and performance that borders on anthemic and infectious. The production is spectacularly good, effortlessly melding synthesizers, acoustic guitar, and more into a splendidly unique sonic landscape for Brooklyn to occupy.
Continuing to surprise the listener, ‘My One and Only’ is a drop dead beautiful tune, one that, again, offers insight into life and love in a way one wouldn’t expect from someone who just turned old enough to drive. Not to dwell on Brooklyn’s age, but it’s remarkable she can pen a love ballad about a lifelong relationship as lovely as this. One can’t help but ponder how Brooklyn would fare in other genres, too, as her voice and execution are masterful.
As the album winds down, it provides two rather excellent closers. The first, ‘Do You Know,’ is a profound track that’s not only written fantastically well, but performed in a fashion that draws Brooklyn into soul-esque territory. ‘Beauty All Around’ then closes the album with another attention capturing piano ballad that features her briefly harmonizing with herself to wonderful effect.
Gina Brooklyn is an immensely impressive and fascinating talent well worth keeping close tabs on. Her eponymous debut is arguably stronger than some releases from seasoned veterans in the industry thrice her age. She also clearly has the talent to expand beyond singer songwriter and pop musings, too, and one would hope with a long career ahead, she’ll experiment in many directions.