Yeah, life is crazy and I know it’s been a while since I’ve written an album review and I’m sorry but I’m back! I’m feeling motivated and full of energy as I edge closer to a giant life change (which I promise I will tell you more about soon!). Time to start digging into some of the albums that have been sitting on my desk for months starting with Brianna Kocka’s ‘Let It Stay’.
Calm and whimsy took over my house as soon as I hit play on this five-song EP. There’s something almost fairytale-like about the opening of “All the Questions I Have Right Now” that is only escalated by Brianna’s absolutely stunning and carefree, yet emotionally drenched, vocals. Even though I found this opening track almost playful, there’s something just so purely tender and beautiful about it. It’s the kind of track that instantly catches you and takes you off into another world and that’s exactly what I needed tonight.
“Season” continues to drift you into Brianna Kocka’s world. This track is a bit more subdued than the opening track but it’s still filled beautifully with energy and passion. There’s a somber mood that takes over with this track. The lyrics are a bit more serious and heartbreaking depending on how you want to read into them. I loved the way this song seemed to both expand on the themes laid out in the opening track while creating a whole new vibe. Dreamy and atmospheric horns and soft drums carry this track throughout while Brianna’s vocals bring a dazzling almost star-fueled sky to the mix. I found myself completely lost in the controlled chaos of horns that come in and out throughout this song and before I knew it, the album had moved onto “Make Me a Quiet Place to Lay”.
The third track continues with the calm and almost heartbreakingly beautiful vibe of “Season” perfectly. Although the two tracks clearly fit well together, they are clearly two separate tracks and I loved that. Brianna’s vocals have an almost haunting vibe throughout “Make Me a Quiet Place to Lay” which just brought an extra weight to the perfect word choice throughout this track. Although there’s a weight in the vocals during this song, there’s still that undeniable sense of whimsy that Brianna pulls off so beautifully and seamlessly but the whimsy really starts to steal the spotlight again during “Some Thoughts on Stories and Sleep”. The instrumentation takes a back seat and a more minimalistic approach throughout this track giving Brianna’s vocals a chance to truly command your ears the way it should. It also gave me a chance to really focus on Brianna’s word choice. “You always said that you’d sleep when you’re dead…” I mean, that’s just a snapshot but a phrase like that obviously caught my exhausted heart and hit me like a punch in the gut with where the song goes (which I won’t spoil so just listen to the song). This song is definitely a bit slower than I tend to go for but it was an instant favorite of mine.
Just like ‘Let It Stay’ started, “Sunset Vignette” closes this album with an almost fairytale-like tone. With chirping birds, atmospheric crashes of cymbals, and truly captivating vocals, this song left me with a whimsical yet haunting sound in my ears that I know I will not be able to shake any time soon and I’m okay with that. This EP may be short but it will surely get you hooked on Brianna Kocka.
My Favorite Track(s): “Some Thoughts on Stories and Sleep”
For Fans Of: Gorgeous Whimsical Sounds; Beautiful Words
Daydream-ability: 8 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept on the floor next to my desk; Autumn slept on the back of the couch
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 8 out of 10
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