Peter Broderick
How They Are



by peachesforfree USER (5 Reviews)
May 21st, 2012 | 2 replies

Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An album of simplicity and substance

For those who are not familiar, I would like to introduce you to Peter Broderick. Mr Broderick is a multi-instrumentalist and session musician who has played on albums for the likes of She and Him and currently tours with Danish ensemble Efterklang. Having released a number of compositional mini albums, ‘How They Are’ contains a mixture of delightful piano instrumentals as well as some charming pieces featuring Broderick’s gentle vocals.

A quiet, minimalist album, whose instruments consist purely of guitar and piano, the overall sound has a calming, cosy ambience about it, like an aural equivalent of peppermint tea. I have found the ideal listening setting to be a quiet train carriage on a cloudy day; the blurs of country fields becoming the backdrop to the mesmerising piano riffs and gently finger picked guitar.

Beneath the graceful exterior of the songs lies a pith of lyrical wisdom. A couple of months ago I could have safely said that I had never listened to a song and felt overwhelming sympathy for a chicken at the end of it. That has all changed. ‘Human Eyeballs on Toast’ is many things. Firstly, it is clearly one of the greatest song titles ever. Secondly, it has to be the finest song about the unethical treatment of battery farm chickens ever written. Thirdly and most importantly, it is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. What this mainly comes down to is Broderick’s sincerity. The idea of a chicken living in peace may seem like an inane concept to many of us. Not for Broderick. A creature living in captivity is given the same heartfelt emotion as a lovesick ballad. “If I had a bigger brain I’d surely find a way to take my own life.”

This kind of profound innocence drifts throughout the album. ‘Hello to Nils’ recognises the ache of constant travelling, continuously saying goodbye to friends whilst also being appreciative of new places and people elsewhere. This is a standout track vocally, not just for the delicate whispers but also the little swallow midway through the long line hellos.

This is what makes ‘How They Are’ so brilliant. All of the tracks were recorded in one take, which can all be viewed on the Hush Records Youtube channel. In a generation where it seems as though all music relies on excessive production to compensate for a lack of talent, it is a relief to know that there are still skilled musicians who can create simple, beautiful music. Even with its endearing imperfections, 'How They Are' remains an unblemished work of art.

user ratings (8)

Comments:Add a Comment 
May 21st 2012


I've been meaning to check this guy out. Is this guy kind of like Iron & Wine? I've been hearing that

May 21st 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

I would say that his album 'Home' is more comparable to Iron & Wine.

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2023
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy