The Birmingham-born and Nashville-based band, The Brook and the Bluff, is changing what it means to be characterized as a pop band. By adding soulful sounds with a hint of a classic rock influence, this group creates a sound that can only be described as unique.
Due to their choir background, this four-man group wanted to continue their musical careers by entering the music industry. Writer Joseph Settine joined Alec Bolton to create the band while the two were students at Auburn University. Upon returning to hometown Birmingham post-grad, John Canada was added to the group, followed by bassist Fred Lankford.
In 2016, the band released singles “Masks” and “Straws.” Three years later, they dropped their first album, titled First Place. The Brook and the Bluff have continued to gain popularity, especially after being named Birmingham’s “Best Local Band” in a 2018 issue of Birmingham Magazine. In the same year, they split from their roots and relocated to the opportunity-abundant Nashville, Tennessee.
Their debut full-length album, First Place, was finally released on October 25, 2019. Though this album was criticized for not fitting today’s commercial music climate, its new, easy to listen to sound is one that everyone should have on their playlists. Each song tells a story that when compounded with an emotional and relatable sound has an impact upon the listener. For example, their song “Pastels” travels through the journey of a relationship. In the middle of the song, all of the dynamics and rhythm change, creating a feeling of there being two songs in one.
If I were to compare this group to others, I would say they would be John Mayer, meets The Beatles, meets Alabama Shakes. Their combination of pop, rock, and mellow-indie country sounds creates something very distinctive and original, an accomplishment that I believe makes this band worthy of widespread success.
This underdog band deserves to be heard, and I encourage everyone to take a minute, have “A Little Change of Pace,” and take a listen to The Brook and the Bluff.
Written by: Gabriela Seligman