The Brummies are the kind of band that have a little something for everyone; they seamlessly blend indie and classic rock, funk and disco for a 360 degree experience that is sure to keep fans dancing at the bar, at their shows, and even at home in the basement these days. Their new album Automatic World arrives today, via Sandbox Entertainment, with a full scope of love, sunshine, fear for tomorrow, and the entire range of emotions. The record explores all things past and present diving into the theme of déjà vu. Automatic World will be available on vinyl Dec 18.
"Déjà vu, futures, past, all of that comes together in this record in a musical way," shares vocalist and multi-tool musician Jacob Bryant. "There are future sounds, but they are mixed with the old. Eternal Reach [The Brummies’ full-length debut] was all about recording to tape and capturing the vintage vibe. We recorded a lot of this the same way, but we expanded it sonically — there are a lot more synthesizers and production."
"When we started recording these songs, we were all on the same page, with everyone focused on the grooves that moved us. We locked into that," says singer and multi-instrumentalist John Davidson.
"We all wanted to expand and do different things," says percussionist and background vocalist Trevor Davis, "We didn't make the same record twice."
Tracks on Automatic World like the ethereal "Fever Dream," the vibey "After Midnight," and the searching "Cherry Blossom" resonate with a crisp and effortless freshness, the result of three players in possession of an almost telekinetic musical shorthand. In the studio or in the writing room, The Brummies (who wrote or co-wrote every track on the project) don't try; they just do.
"Have we been here before?/Because we're talking without speaking," they harmonize in the New Wave-y "Been Here Before," a song whose message sums up the inherent chemistry of the core bandmates.
In "After Midnight," The Brummies — originally from Birmingham, Alabama, their name is U.K. slang for a resident of Birmingham — revel in what they call "dark disco."
"Call Me," a pleading offer of help to a friend, came out of another spontaneous jam session, with the members each picking up a different instrument. Its intro and lyrics call to mind Eternal Reach's "Drive Away," the band's celebrated collaboration with Kacey Musgraves. "It started off with Jacob on the drums and this piano pad thing," John recalls. "Each song has a different process in how it evolves, and that one went through many different steps."
Sometimes inspiration would hit them square in the head. After being awoken every morning by sunlight creeping through a crack in his blinds, Jacob sat down and wrote the funky "Sunshine." Ebullient, joyful, and full of hope, it owes a debt to late soul singer Bill Withers. "He definitely inspired the beat to that song," John says.
Still other sounds on the project appeared as happy accidents. While Jacob was working on the harmony-rich relationship tune "Tomorrow," his guitar amp failed and began to emit a single droning note. He loved it and incorporated it into the track. "It's a sad song that we made into a love song," he says.
Produced by The Brummies along with Jarrad Kritzstein (Ruston Kelly) and Austin Jenkins (Leon Bridges), Automatic World exists in those atmospheric notes that seem to soundtrack our subconscious. There are rhythmic guitar riffs straight out of the Seventies, hypnotic Moog passages that evoke the electronica of Giorgio Moroder, and even the bright tones of soul music.
Atwood Magazine said of the album “The sheer scope of their creative visions for ‘Automatic World’ come through when listening to the record, which truly feels as if you’re listening to something purely brand new and undiluted, regardless of whether it’s the first listen or the tenth listen.”
Listeners can stay connected with The Brummies by following them on Instagram and Facebook @thebrummies, and @the_brummies on Twitter. For more info visit thebrummies.com.
Till It Happens
Who Should I Be
Been Here Before