Beats Per Minute: On Deck, Aimee Bobruk

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Far from being just another glossy face in a glut of singer-songwriter’s to emerge in recent years, Aimee Bobruk makes music which openly revels in its own eccentricities and unconventional approach to the material. And while not falling too far from the conventional wisdoms of the genre within which she finds herself, Bobruk’s music nevertheless feels distinct and pulses with an adaptability that few other artists have managed to achieve. Her latest record, the appropriately phonetic /ba:’brook/, shimmers with mournful sounds and an eye and ear toward eclectic arrangements. Boasting production duties from Brian Beattie (Shearwater, Okkervil River, Daniel Johnston), the songs feel organic without pretense, sure-footed without ever feeling static. Her songs simply exist, and Bobruk plucks them from the air as easily as she takes a breath. Recently, she took some time out of her busy schedule and talked with Beats Per Minute about some of her favorite records. Enjoy her choices in our latest installment of On Deck.

Lou Reed – Berlin: “The Kids”

I remember the first time I heard this song was with Austin songwriter, Will Sexton.
I was in his house with his kids’ toys strewn across the room so the theatrics were ripe. The subject matter is so intense, yet Reed dons the perspective of an insignificant water boy to convey the narrative. In terms of writing, it is that choice that left a lasting imprint on me as a writer—the choice of perspective. The bass and drums sit well together in a sort of faux-lackadaisical way and the slid guitar mirrors and morphs into the cries of children. I still get goose bumps. And never once does it feel over done or mellow dramatic.

Laura Veirs – Carbon Glacier

Veirs is one of the most poetic songwriters I’ve every heard. I had the privilege of hearing her live on one of her first trips to Austin over ten years ago. It was this 2004 release that completely floored me. Tucker Martine, her producer and drummer, has a talent for complimenting her poetry with crisp, organic, and haunting instrumentation, like the signature viola lines provided by Eyvind Kang, while also flirting with watery organs and distorted guitars. I admire the respect for space in this production that makes Veirs’ writing shine. One of my favorite lyrics comes from “Rapture”….‘love of color, sounds and words, is it a blessing or a curse”.

Nick Lowe – The Old Magic

Ok he’s old enough to be my father but ^&*($ his swooning on this album makes me want to do crazy things in an old fashioned way. “Stoplight Roses”, in my opinion, is one of the most perfectly circular and economical songs every written. The arrangements are smooth with tinges of classic country meets a lounge type ambience that takes my heart on a leisurely stroll through a lush lala land. Ok. He is one of my songwriting heroes, but this record makes me want to make out with him and that is just, well, weird.

Mount Analog — Mount Analog

When I work on songs away from my instrument I find it helpful to listen to soundscapes, field recordings, or non-lyrical music. Tucker Martine’s, Mount Analog, is one of my favorite collections of what I call environments. It’s too easy to throw the word cinematic out there, but yes, “Ma” and “Abandon” could have easily supported a mystical magical hi-fi film. My favorite and what I think to be the most beautiful and other-worldly track is “All Misty Eyed”. Mount Analog is a refreshing reminder that every sound and silence can be musical and I like that reminder.


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