Friday, September 26, 2014

Emilyn Brodsky -- Eats Her Feelings

Emilyn Brodsky's charisma is difficult to resist. Here's the snippet from her bio that won me over before I'd even listened to her music: "She has been called ‘charmingly aggressive’, ‘the love of my life’ and ‘a jerk’."

Brodsky's lyrics are devastating -- deeply honest, funny, and bitter. She flits between country ("Functional Alcoholic") and more experimental polka...ish?* ("Paper Thin Line") Amidst the tales of dysfunctional relationships (more on that in a minute), the album is interspersed by ironic voicemails. This might be gimmicky with a lesser artist, but something needs to cut the harsh realism of the album's first half. There's no question that the conceit is a hipsterish, but for once it doesn't bother me. (I live in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, wear plastic glasses, and sport an undercut. Deal with it?)

The album seems to focus on Brodsky's breakup but glides into songs about dating and trying to find the next person -- lately I've been feeling like that's a basically impossible task in New York City. (PS -- If you have a job, are comfortable with your sexuality, and a reasonably clear bill of mental health, hmu because I can't seem to find somebody who can check off all three boxes.) "Someone Belongs Here" brings it all into perspective:

someone belongs here more than you
someone belongs here more than you
someone belongs here more than you
but you’re here so let’s not take the longview

are you the hunter or are you the hunted?
are you pining or are you wanted?
i forgot who i was just then;
are you my lover or my mother or my father or my friend?

But the album isn't a downward spiral. The last few songs detail healing and ends on the high note of "Good Days."

Emilyn Brodsky Eats Her Feelings is not for the faint of heart, but you'll feel more refreshed once you get to the other side.

Emily Brodsky -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp, iTunes, Webstore

*I am the next Greil Marcus

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