North Dakota-born singer-songwriter Tom Brosseau hasn’t released a proper record since 2009, but for a songwriter this captivating, that’s not necessarily a drawback. Now based in L.A., Brosseau’s new Grass Punks is sensitive and forlorn, a romantic sould upset at being dismissed, yearning for attention, complicated and absolutely compelling. The album is streaming this week on the NPR Music First Listen series, and as NPR’s Tom Moon writes, the album incorporates images of modern life (smartphones, etc.) as symbols of timeless romantic detachment:
Many of these new songs have trapdoors and switchbacks and meta moments, but they’re never there for show: It’s in the shadows where the sly Brosseau does his best work, transforming earthbound images into intimations of wonder, giving unremarkable everyday memories a mysterious, almost haunting poignancy.
Listen to Grass Punks in its entirety via NPR Music here. Tom Brosseau headlines a Folkadelpha-presents concert at Ortlieb’s on February 7 with Joey Sweeney; tickets and information on the show can be found here.