Peter Broderick has stepped onto the global stage this year with a dizzying array of releases.Â As Broderick settles into a late summer run of Festival dates in Europe and his 09′ release schedule (Over half a dozen solo titles finding release, not to mention numerous appearances and production credits in 2009) slows a bit, we have a nice audio snapshot in the form of two songs.Â Take it from here, Peter:
The pace is not letting up for Peter Broderick, who will spend about 90% of 2009 on tour.
Nonetheless, he found time recently to release a very limited edition cassette concisely entitled Ten Duets which sold out shortly after it was announced. Digitalis Industries generously offers up two mp3′s what fast became a collector’s item:
(Peter also has two others posted on his Myspace.)
Miss out?Â Take heart:
“I will have a bunch of smaller releases this year! Already confirmed are a 3″ CD on a small Italian label, a CD release of my score for Falling From Trees, a reissue album of some old 4 track recordings, and a collaborative full-length album with one of my favorite musicians working today, Machinefabriek.”
In addition Peter’s European label Bella Union has a 7″ release on deck, and something else I’ve heard of which appears unannounced as yet.
Speaking of media, the most recent episode (Ep 18, Season 5) of Grey’s Anatomy features Broderick’s “With The Notes In My Ears” from Home. Scoring the final chapter montage, the song adds tenderness to a rather steamy sequence.Â For the curious, it can be seen at abc.com.
Lastly, in Broderick related news, a few Portlanders were lucky to see the Peter’s sister Heather Broderick play an intimate set of her own music under the name Heatherwoods with Peter’s accompaniment last February. Her Myspace suggests she is still working on a debut album which is rumored to (at the very least) have a home in Australia on the young Preservation imprint:
HUSH ambassadors to the Texas fest. Going to be there? Don’t miss ‘em!
Thurs March 19 Afternoon / Time TBA Twangfest party
Thurs March 19 5:45 pm – Nail Distro Party
Thurs March 19 – Evening / Time TBA – Red Eye Fly official showcase
Fri March 20 Afternoon / Time TBA – Other Music party at French Legation Museum
Fri March 20 – 8 pm – The Round Austin at Space 12
Thurs Mar 19 2009 Official Day Stage- Conference Center
Thurs Mar 19 2009 Red Eyed Fly- Little Radio Party
Mar 20 2009 Sidebar- NAIL Distribution Party
Mar 20 2009 Tiniest Bar in Austin- Rumblefish Party
Thurs Mar 19th: w/ Efterklang @ 2 PM @ Other Music and DigForFire.tv’s Lawn Party;
Thurs Mar 19th: Peter Broderick 9 PM @ Bella Union Showcase @ The Ranch, and later w/ Efterklang @ 11 PM @ Habana Bar/Leaf & Hometapes showcase!
Sun Mar 15: Horchow Auditorium, Dallas Museum of Art
supporting M Ward 7:00pm (1717 N. Harwood, Dallas) Tickets: $19.99
Thur Mar 19: SXSW Showcase, 8:00 pm @Red Eyed Fly (715 Red River St)
w/Laura Gibson,The Thermals, Upsidedown, Horsefeathers, The Shaky Hands
For a city that congratulates itself for being indie music Valhalla, and hyper-self-aware, it’s surprising that Peter Broderick has largely escaped attention in our local press. Perhaps because he’s spent more time in Denmark or on tour for the past couple of years, he’s not been visible on the scene. Nevertheless, his contribution to Portland music is practically peerless (excepting friend, and at various times bandmate, Dave Depper). I submit:
Exhibit A: Appearances and collaborations, Abridged to Portland Acts.
M. Ward – Hold Time (2009, Merge/4AD)
Horse Feathers – House With No Home (2008, Kill Rock Stars)
She & Him – Volume 1 (2008, Merge)
White Hinterland – Phylactery Factory (2008, Dead Oceans)
Loch Lomond – Paper the Walls (2007, Hush Records)
Dolorean – You Can’t Win (2007, Yep-Roc Records)
Loch Lomond – Lament for Children EP (2007, Hush Records)
Laura Gibson – If You Come to Greet Me (2006, Hush Records)
Norfolk & Western – The Unsung Colony (2006, Hush Records)
Horse Feathers – Words are Dead (2006, Lucky Madison Records)
Norfolk & Western – A Glided Age (2006, Hush Records)
That is a mad decent portfolio. And that would be enough. That would be hero criteria right there. But that’s just back story.” While in town recently, Peter played a handful of dates as a solo act, sampling from his three solo (!) album releases of the past 18 months (including Home, his vocal debut, on HUSH” Peter Broderick – Home sampler mix) while on a mini tour with friends, Austin’s Balmorhea.” The venues in town included the chapel at Reed College and the relatively humble Alberta Pub.” He played his strengths to both rooms like a seasoned stage veteran (which he is, owing to whirlwind world tour schedules with Danish sensation Efterklang and a diverse touring history with Horse Feathers, Loch Lomond, and Norfolk & Western) overcoming technical hiccups, the din of the bar, and playing Reed’s acoustic grand piano with his trademark mix of restraint and drama:
That’s not all.” I can’t think of better proof of living & breathing music, than this off-the-cuff video series dubbed “Songy” that Peter silently slipped on to YouTube a few weeks ago while spending some time at home with family (including wonder-twin extraordinaire Heather Woods Broderick) in Yamhill County and Portland.
I’m not sure this a wholly original concept, but what we have here are multi-tracked YouTube videos which appear to feature Peter fresh out of bed in his PJs knocking out a little song about travel and songwriting; a rough ode to the guitar he will have to abandon again, and a message to loved ones. And it’s likely largely unrehearsed (He’s been dubbed The Whipper Snapper, and The One Take Kid for his studio performance acumen.) For keywords Peter chose “peter broderick” and “bad”, with esoteric descriptions like “music is definitely weird” and “i don’t know”. We get that this is not his usual fare, nonetheless it’s surprisingly tender, candid, endearing, clever, and catchy. Have a look:
Exhibit C: “Songy” Series
And finally, I submit to you, both Portlanders and citizens of the world, Peter may already be nearing that tipping point where the sidestream meets slipstream.” Peter’s solo output may soon eclipse his performance contributions to bigger acts.” Across the pond, Home has received big print accolades, and Peter is charting a course for headlining tours of the UK and European continent later this year.” Before that though,” North Americans will have the rare treat of seeing Peter perform a solo set before joining Efterklang on stages from coast to coast this spring .” Don’t miss it (dates on sidebar)!
Exhibit D: The UK is about the size of Oregon on a map.” Will we let them take all the credit?
“No needless virtuosity; no clever sonic treatments; no unusual instruments.” We stumble on moments that recall the magnificence of Simon & Garfunkel at their peak, or David Pajo at his most ambient, and we donâ€™t care how long the search takes. ” (5 out of 5 stars) – Sunday London Times
“On the second listen it sounds like a future classic. ” – Mojo
“The pinnacle is the tidal rhythms of ‘Sickness, Bury,’ but there’s plenty more here to admire and absorb.” – Uncut
“This is a work oft-enchanting and tenderly relayed: the sound of a first hand both confident and considered, whetting the appetite for more from this young American with a stately flourish. ” – Drowned In Sound
Many know Peter Broderick as one leg of Horse Feathers. Many others have noticed him as a bright star in the Efterklang troupe. Still others know him as the young composer to watch, establishing himself with two instrumental releases on the respected Type label. Beyond that, he has cut his teeth touring and performing with Loch Lomond, Norfolk & Western Laura Gibson, and contributing to the recent She & Him record.
But today we hear Peter’s voice for the first time. Of all the instruments Peter has at his disposal for this recording he has picked only two: vocal and guitar. Amazingly, Peter has turned this most pedestrian arrangement into someting time-worn and beautiful. Words fail.
Home is an album that is designed to be heard front to back. This album sampler will give you an idea:
If you didn’t catch our introduction to Peter Broderick on the blog, you might have heard the short gem he turned in for track two of DECA, “Refining”. In this YouTube vid we find Peter earlier this year opening for his acoustic/electronic ensemble Efterklang. The song starts off slow, but try to imagine you’re there. At the crescendo visualize Peter running off stage in the wash of vocals, jingle bells, thick chords and tremelo violin whipping a whirly tube. Music enfolding.
Then imagine you’ll have an opportunity to see Peter perform next Spring when he revisits with Efterklang again. (In a year that seems to have gone by so fast, suddenly I want it to go faster.)
ps. And if you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Efterklang live, this 1 min. video approximates, figuratively, the feeling that will overtake you when bathing in their sound.
Peter Broderick is like the Swiss Army Knife of musicians; compact, elegant, multipurpose. What sets him apart is his restraint. With an arsenal of talents at his disposal, he prefers to reveal only one or two at a time.
Round about the time Broderick joined forces with Justin Ringle to form the lovely Horse Feathers, he was also recruited into the burgeoning Unsung Colony-era Norfolk & Western (routinely playing with some 7-9 players) who quickly dubbed him The Whipper Snapper, owing to his youthful demeanor (19 years old at that point) and his crushing skills on a bevy of instruments: violin, piano, banjo, saw, guitar…basically whatever you threw at him. He performed impressive non-musical feats as well, not least of which was sucking on an everlasting gobstopper practically every waking minute of tour.
The “Secret Weapon” (another nickname) didn’t remain a secret for long. Peter went on to perform with Loch Lomond and Laura Gibson as well as perform as a studio musician for M Ward, Zooey Deschanel, and Dolorean. Presently he lives in Copenhagen, Denmark where he brings his skills to the lush, much adored electronic/acoustic ensemble Efterklang.
You’d think working with as many as five different bands simultaneously wouldn’t allow Peter to pursue any kind of solo career. Likewise, his easygoing, unassuming demeanor might lead you to believe he didn’t have aspirations being accessible and available to lend a musical hand. But in late 2007 a steady stream of solo instrumental releases on respected labels Type and Kning Disk has all but established Broderick as the young composer / pianist / string player to watch.
Defying the lofty expectations that have already been placed on the young man, Broderick is set to release Home on September 23rd (on HUSH / Bella Union / Rumracket) showcasing his here-to-fore lesser known strengths as a guitarist / vocalist. (There is not a piano or violin note to be found on this record.)
With Home, Peter may have performed his most impressive feat yet: breathing new life into the most pedestrian arrangement in modern music. Broderick turns the open-mic night connotations of guitar and vocal on its ear with layers of vocal washes, x-acto fingerpicking figures, and his deceptively simple compositional style.