Tom Brosseau

Grass Punks

by Matthew Fiander

25 February 2014

cover art

Tom Brosseau

Grass Punks

US: 21 Jan 2014
UK: 10 Feb 2014

Tom Brosseau is a folk troubadour in the most traditional sense, and he’s been busy in the past few years recording with Angel Correa as the Shelleys, or playing and recording with John C. Reilly and others. But it’s been almost five years since his last solo record, Posthumous Success, and Grass Punks is an excellent return. It hearkens back to the more stripped-down compositions of 2007’s Cavalier, and the intimate tunes Brosseau crafted with collaborator Sean Watkins this time strike an impressive chord.

Brosseau is a multi-tooled folk singer, capable of biting humor (“Cradle Your Device”), landscape (“Stuck on the Roof Again”), depictions of home (“Today is a Bright New Day”), romantic nostalgia (“Tami”), and a guileless love of music (“I Love to Play Guitar”). But lest this all sound like typical folk ground, Brosseau makes it his own with sweet melodies and careful, clever details, like the “heavy metal bull horn and a burn from the sun” gets from a swap meet. These songs feel quiet—as though they could maybe drift into the background—but it’s the subtle craft of Brosseau’s words and the understated interplay between him and Watkins that make this record resonate. At just more than 27 minutes, it may feel a bit short, but it hardly feels slight. Every songs hits, even if you don’t always feel the full impact until later. Grass Punks is a welcome return from one of the most dynamic voices in modern folk.

Grass Punks


We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.

//Mixed media

Call for Music Writers... Hip-Hop, Soul, Electronic, Rock, Indie, Americana, Jazz, World and More

// Announcements

"PopMatters is looking for smart music writers. We're looking for talented writers with deep genre knowledge of music and its present and…

READ the article