4th of July
Reviewed by: Julia Cirignano
Carl Broemel starts off his solo album 4th of July with a lazy song suitably titled “Sleepy Lagoon”. This song highlights Broemel’s chill vocals with a strong percussion backdrop. The solo is casually played against bird noises, foreshadowing the theme of nature that is continued throughout the album.
4th of July is Broemel’s third solo album, yet he has already had an extensive musical career. He plays for the bands My Morning Jacket, Old Pike, and Silvercrush. Although this Les Paul fanatic is famous for his exceptional guitar playing, I would like to also comment on the magic of his casual and raw vocals. Broemel’s voice rolls over melodic hills with delicate acoustic guitar raining down over his vocal chords. This album focuses on an acoustic sound with an emphasis on vocals and harmony instead of electric guitar.
With titles such as “Coffee and Wine”, “Snowflake”, and “Rocking Chair Dancer”, his music isn’t rushed. Headphones inject the sugar slowly into your veins until your body is full encompassed to the atmosphere that Broemel creates. Broemel incorporates nature both within his lyrics and his music. Within his lyrics, he uses nature metaphorically and literally to convey his message. He writes about nature to purely obverse it, and also to connect to ordinary human life.
“In the Dark” is a perfect example of Broemel’s introspective lyrics with the repeated line, “You’re gonna end everyday of your life lying there in the dark”. His lyrics are simple, but the real meaning is complex. He uses this album to ask questions, and make observations about life that make listeners truly think. Grab a cup of coffee, take a walk in the forest, and listen to 4th of July.