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Cary Brothers Brushes Off the Hard Times With ‘Bruises’ (album stream) (premiere)

Cary Brothers' Bruises is a record intended for the masses that never loses its sense of the intimate and never gets stuck in the expected groove.

Bruises is the latest album from singer-songwriter Cary Brothers. The album, which is due out 27 April, finds Brothers leaning into his ’80s influences while also contemplating some of life’s tougher moments. “It’s about getting beaten down and getting back up again”, he says. “Mostly the getting up part”.

He drew special inspiration from the likes of Peter Gabriel and the Cure, artists, he says, who “wrote in huge, melodic, romantic sonic landscapes”. While the influence isn’t always immediately obvious, one can detect it in songs such as the stirring, soulful “Nothing in the World/The Path” and the arena/stadium-ready “Til The Stars”. In the latter, Brothers creates a large, booming track that retains a sense of intimacy, as though of the millions who might hear it, it remains intended for one listener. He thrusts in some rollicking, hypnotic vibes via “Past Come Round” and gives us a song that will no doubt be the first a generation of young guitar players/would-be songwriters learns in the privacy of their own rooms (“Everything I Say”).

There is a strange but wonderful juxtaposition of the broad and the intimate here: So often, it’s easy to imagine yourself in a crowded room singing these choruses with hundreds/thousands of other likeminded souls. At other times, you know that Bruises is a record you’ll come to cherish on lonely drives through the tree-lined suburbs or long stretches of solitary highway late at night, either driving to or away from a new/old/former love. True to the artist’s intention it seems that those drives will also bring with them some sense of resolve, a belief that we can come through the other side intact.

None of the songs are dour and some are positively light, including “Crush”, a tune inspired by Molly Ringwald, which has already been doing well on radio. (It also sounds like it should have been on the soundtrack to Pretty in Pink. And that’s a good thing.) “Cool City”, meanwhile, cribs a little bit of attitude from the Rolling Stones’ classic “Waiting on a Friend” while “Can’t Read Your Mind” offers some electro shock to what could have easily been a traditional troubadour record smothered with acoustic guitars and earnest, clear-eyed vocals.

Having released his debut EP in 2014, Brothers‘ songs have been featured on the soundtrack to Garden State as well as on televisions shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, Easy A and more.

Bruises is out 27 April and may be ordered here.