My day has been spent refreshing vaccine finders. I’m exhausted, stressed, and completely discouraged. I’m going back in a rut when I felt like I had just gotten out of one. There’s only one thing that is sure to help me from falling into a black hole of despair and that’s some new music so, come on notbrian, don’t let me down!

notbrian’s ‘Rua’ EP starts with “takein”. This opening track is soft and sweet- just what my frantic brain needed tonight. Beautiful instrumentation floated through my house as this track took over. Although I’m not usually one for calm, this track hit the spot perfectly. The sound of a broken-down piano comes in before a drumbeat starts to take over driving this track towards something a bit more powerful while still having a sense of calm and comfort behind it. Just like the description I got with the album said, the sound is almost an alt-rock influenced trip-hop sound and, even though I’m usually one who is always waiting for lyrics, I found this instrumentation and vibe so interesting that I almost didn’t even realize there were no words.

“soulsearching” starts with a more clashing sound before settling into a very electronic sound. Even though there’s a lot going on in this track, there’s something calming about the composition and how everything fits together so perfectly. I’ll be honest, I found myself looking for vocals (which I am now realizing may not happen throughout this five-song EP) but, then I started thinking. Vocals just wouldn’t fit on this nor does notbrian’s sound need them. The music along tells a story. Vocals and words would just muddle that.

Third on this EP is “oh”. There’s some super cool guitar work throughout this track that instantly caught my ear. It’s not that it sticks out like a sore thumb or anything and the vibe of this track is much like the previous two songs but it’s just a new layer that seems to take over in all of the right ways for this one. I also found this track a little more repetitive than the previous ones. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing but it made the track fly by and, before I knew it, “dogsdream” had taken over my house. “dogsdream” seems to focus more on the instrumentation and less on the beat which makes it stand out in all of the right ways to me. There’s a new sense of power and edge in this one which made it an instant favorite of mine. It also made it so easy for me to get lost in and, before I knew it, the track was done.

“bold” ends this EP and seems to expand on the power and edge felt in “dogsdream”. It’s the perfect ending for this EP because instead of fading out softly, notbrian crescendos this release all the way to the end as if daring you to not go back and start this journey all over again. I’ll be honest, I’m not usually one for instrumental music but by the time I was left in silence as “bold” ended, I couldn’t help but go back and listen to this entire EP again.

My Favorite Track(s): “dogsdream”

For Fans Of: Amazing Instrumental Work; Powerful Soundscapes

Daydream-ability: 7 out of 10

What My Cats Thought Of It: Artiesat by the front door; Autumn slept on the back of the couch

How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 6 out of 10

My Overall Rating: 7.2 out of 10

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Check out ‘Rua’ HERE! 

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