18 July 2018

Addie Brik - I Have a Doctor on Board

Addie Brik is an American artist who currently resides in Scotland, she relocated to the UK in the late 90's and has been building a steady career after being found by Peter Gabriel via a demo many moons ago.  This discovery ended up (in part) leading to a deal with Geffen records, as well as collaborations/co-writes with artists such as Fishbone, Sugarhill Gang, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wendy & Lisa and many more.  To be honest, I only really heard about her when I received a press release from a PR company.  However, I have to say that I was impressed by the sound of the record, as well as the title.

I Have a Doctor on Board is her twelfth release (by counting the releases on her website), it was recorded in Glasgow, wrote in a small flat looking at the Firth of Clyde.  The album is based on conversations that Addie Brik had with an inventor and a lifeboat captain in Scotland, the record puts technology in a sailboat with songs about freedom, curiosity and community.   It is also influenced by the Scottish coastline which Ms Brik's calls home.  To be honest, I find that level of detail fascinating.  To have an artist research her work, submerge herself into the work with this details is something I applaud before I even look at the music.  But that is what we are here for, to look at the album and find out how it sounds.

Firstly, I could make some very lazy assumptions about this album by the first few songs.  Because of the use of multi-layered vocals on this album, it has a sound akin to Tori Amos/Kate Bush in places vocally.  But that would be disrespectful to Ms Brik, who has an individual voice which has a depth of its own and brings passion and warmth to these songs.  Once you start to look at this record without those preconceptions and comparisons to other artists, you free the record and it transforms into something else.

Next, you look at the music itself.  Broadly speaking, there is a mixture of folk, dream pop and indie on I Have a Doctor on Board.  Songs such as "Velocity Made Good", "Birding", "Cape Flyaway" (my personal favourite) and the much heralded "Belly" are fine examples of an artist in full control of her vision on this album.  Whilst I was listening to this before I read the press release in depth, you could feel a nautical theme to the album.  The songs can be as gentle, but suddenly turn violent, much like the sea.  You can hear that in each of the songs, it's embedded into the record.  I also love the ordering of this album, you can lose yourself for hours on end on this record, with each song wiping away the worries of the day.

Are there any negatives here?  To be honest, anything I put here would be superficial.  I would be looking for arguments which don't exist.  It is a gentle record, a calming and soothing album, one that has a strong will and passion underneath it.  Over the next few days and weeks, I'm going to make an effort to check out Addie Brik's back catalogue as this is a fantastic introduction to this artist.  I Have a Doctor on Board is an album that keeps giving after each spin, revealing more about itself all the time.  I might regret later on in the year not giving this a higher mark, but I do recommend you go out and purchase this now.

9 out of ten - Almost perfect, almost.....

Top track - Cap Flyaway

You can purchase I Have a Doctor on Board on Amazon here.

You can visit the Addie Brik website here. 

You can follow the activities of Addie Brik on Facebook here. 

You can stream I Have a Doctor on Board on Spotify here. 

You can stream I Have a Doctor on Board on Deezer here. 

You can stream I Have a Doctor on Board on Tidal here.

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