Listening Booth: Brandon Schott, “Golden State”

Written by Listening Booth, Music

Brandon Schott – Golden State (2007)
purchase this album (Amazon)

Brandon Schott is a patient man. As those of you who read Jefitoblog might recall, I assembled a “staff” of writers at one point, in an effort to expand the site’s coverage of independent artists. Unfortunately, I didn’t do a very good job of cracking down on those writers if they dragged their asses getting their posts in — something Schott discovered when he sent his second CD, Golden State, in for review. The writer who requested it never submitted his review, and then the site disappeared, and here we are, a year later, and poor Golden State still hasn’t been given the coverage it deserves.

That all ends today, because I’ve been spending the weekend listening to nothing but this album, and I’m ready to tell you that fans of wistful, laid-back California pop need look no further for their next fix. Schott describes the record as “Neil Finn meets Neil Young meets Michael Penn meets Gram Parsons, with a shade of Brian Wilson,” and that pretty much hits the nail right on the head — the entire album is shot through with gossamer guitars, gentle vocals, stacks of harmonies, and the occasional tasteful extra production touch. Those prone to napping should probably avoid listening to Golden State while operating heavy machinery, but anyone with a deep appreciation for ’70s West Coast pop will instantly fall into deep and abiding love for these songs the first time they hear them.

Records this beautifully ethereal tend to work better as a whole than parsed out into single tracks, but start yourself off with the title track (download) and Schott’s slowed-down cover of David Mead’s “Everyone Knows It But You” (download) to get an idea of what Golden State has to offer.