Have you heard of Brahman Shaman? If not, take a few minutes to get to know this alternative pop-rock trio which have been quietly amassing a library of solid, hand-crafted music for well over a decade. Fronted by the wildly talented, multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, producer, musical-tech expert, pod-caster Matt Olson, this Iowa native (currently residing in Onalaska, WI) first caught our ear with 2013’s Old Gold, a rich and brave electro-pop/rock jam which, in absolutely unsubtle terms, cries out to wake up a sleeping world. (It’s a great track, check it out just below.)
Matt and Brahman’s desire to reach, to explore, and to not only discover what life’s driving authorities truly are—but to then express those discoveries musically—has only grown in time, as evidenced by their most recent EP, Old Love.
The album’s opening track, Love it or Leave it, tears into the modern day culture’s obsession with placing too much importance on it’s material reality. Accented by an ironically light and funky guitar riff, Olson belts out a universal truth that’s a bit darker,
“On and on, but the end is always the end, you’re still gone
Some stay true to their word, some men lie
But the end is always the end, you still die”
Took Me By Surprise’s production is engrossing. Riding a psychedelically magical sonic wave, this track explores impermanence, change, death, truth, and more. Serving as a lullaby for the modern day, the track questions all notions of comfort and security…
“Don’t you know it is a long ways down
To the frozen river far below
And I’m not sure I can make it out
Not even sure I want to go”
An ode to human pride, Old Men is just damn pleasing to the ear. Along with all of their usual and customary instrumentation, here, Brahman Shaman adds just a touch of sparkling synth to the song’s landscape.
“No longer trust a word you say. How did you turn this black to gray?” With a dark finish, End of the World is a torrent and conflicted ride. Though unclear whether this conflict is personal, political, spiritual, or all of the above, sometimes a bit of mystery is perfectly appropriate. Such is the case with the EP’s last track as Olson and company deliver a technically complex and wildly adventurous finale.
All in all, Old Love is loaded with everything Brahman Shaman fans have come to expect: Ambient, airy vocals, crisp clean guitars and drums, and a heartfelt lyrical effort. As always, Matt Olson’s work has depth and meaning. This EP, in our humble opinion, represents everything indie music is supposed to be: true talent–forged by practice, discipline and work ethic; and an honest expression of feeling–forged by the experience of love, loss and the inevitable sense of personal responsibility that ensues.
If Weezer and The Great Lake Swimmers went on a spiritual pilgrimage together deep into the Himalayas, when they returned and hit the recording studio together, they just might create something like Brahman Shaman’s Old Love.
Below, you can listen to Brahman Shaman’s new EP, Old Love and connect with their website and social media platforms. Please support Brahman Shaman by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music. And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!