Toronto-based folk-rock singer-songwriter Oliver James Brooks recently released “Storm Chasing,” the title track from his third album, slated to drop in November.
Talking about the title – “Storm Chasing” – Oliver explains, “I’ve been sober now for over 5 years, but before that, I was chasing storms.”
He goes on to add, “You’ll notice in the song I reference ‘10 months-long, going strong,’ which indicates the amount of time that had passed from when I stopped drinking.”
Recorded at Gavin Gardiner’s All Day Coconut studio in Toronto, Canada, the album features Oliver on guitars and vocals, Jenny Toni (Dilly Dally) on bass, Gavin on the Wurlitzer and backup vocals, Sachiko Burgin on backup vocals, and Andrew Kekewich (Wooden Sky) on the drums.
From Ontario, Oliver grew up messing around with his dad’s acoustic guitar. Then, about five years ago, he began writing songs. Since then, he’s performed at IndieWeek, received airplay on CBC, and been likened to Kurt Vile and Elliott Smith.
“Storm Chasing” opens on dark colors topped by platinum accents as a thick, rumbling rhythm moves the song along. Oliver’s deep tenor, slightly rasping, imbues the lyrics with shadowy, dreamy flavors. The feel and flow of the harmonics, reminiscent of Chris Isaak crossed with John Hiatt, gives the tune an exotic, mysterious aura, at once sensuous and a bit risky.
The animated video depicts a cloud with legs trekking through fields of flowers and a forest, followed by drifting through the night. After experience a lightning storm, the cloud drops through a hole to kick bottles and cans aside. Eventually passing through a door marked ‘fear,’ he avoids pitfalls.
With “Storm Chasing,” Oliver James Brooks offers a deliciously spectral folk-rock tune, one well-worth attention.