Brandon White – In My Younger Dreams (Independent)
A lot has happened to Brandon White since he released his previous record, “A Win For Both Sides”, in 2011, but it’s his father’s cancer diagnosis in 2012 that informs the mood and sentiments that dominate his new songs.
Written and recorded, almost as a distraction, and an excuse to withdraw and shut himself off from the wider world, his songs run a full gamut of emotions, sometimes resilient and upbeat, but equally inclined towards contemplation and inspection. It’s not a long album by any means, it’s running time is a soupçon less than 30 minutes, but White doesn’t waste a second, and when an artist feels the need to open themselves to their audience this way, there’s no space for filler or diversions.
Lead single “I’ve Had Enough” is angry and tough. He doesn’t feel the need to be literal or direct, but it’s impossible not to drag alternative interpretations from each and every line. Earlier recordings have lent heavily on his influences, Springsteen, Mellencamp, et al, and he still brings to mind those songwriters who paved the way for today’s Americana scene, but in singing such personal songs, he’s found a voice that’s very much his own.
The collection ends with the title track, a nostalgic, reflective take on the loss of innocence and growing up. Its gentleness and calm assertions feels like White coming to terms with the situation, and provides a fitting conclusion to a collection of songs that never fail to move.