Luke Brindley and Friends


Editorial Review

By Mike Joyce
Friday, June 21, 2013

According to Luke Brindley, the recent breakup of his band, Native Run, wasn’t easy. But judging from the singer--songwriter’s new companion releases, “Our Year I” and “Our Year II,” he hasn’t spent much time dwelling on the past.

For several months, Brindley has been on a creative tear, composing tuneful folk--pop songs and releasing one cut a week on his Web site, Cherry--picked, remixed and re--recorded, the songs on his new CDs swiftly reaffirm Brindley’s vocal strengths, songcraft and bedrock optimism.

Like Paul Simon’s output, some of Brindley’s catchiest songs seem to be written from the bottom up. “House of Love,” for instance, weds a gospel beat to a chanting chorus. More often, though, the lyrics provide the hook. “I’m just a bus bench bail bondsman with a desperate smile / Trying to catch your eye,” Brindley pines on “Let Me Be the One.”

On “Nothing If Not Your Man,” he whimsically references pop oddfellows: “I can party like Keith, got a baby face like the Beibs.” More typical is “I Got a Light,” which concerns issues of perseverance and faith, clearly sources of inspiration for the Reston--based tunesmith. All the while, Brindley’s tenor is appealing and sometimes quietly soulful.

Both CDs boast a crisp sound that helps showcase the often shimmering combination of Brindley’s voice and guitars. Adding to the albums’ charms are a string of cameos by several artists, including singer Mary Ann Redmond and keyboardist Jon Carroll.