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Review: Brandon Tinkler, 'Nowhere to Run'


Brandon Tinkler
Nowhere to Run

For Nowhere to Run, Brandon Tinkler enlisted producer extraordinaire Tyler Watkins (Margot & the Nuclear So and So's), recruiting a cast of diverse musicians to help him out with the album's colorful array of instrumentation. The last album to be made at the much-loved Queensize recording studio, this collection of ten tracks truly does stretch an expanse of sound palettes, from relentless, crunchy blues to numerous acoustic hues. But underneath all of these layers is Tinkler's organic and simple songwriting, which holds steady throughout the entirety of this impressive first album.

Tinkler welcomes the listener with a gentle strumming of his guitar on "Hip-Hooray." Waves of reverb gently swirl as train track clacks surface, escalating into a beautiful climax on the album's opening track. "Just My Luck" follows this standout, with Tinkler and his harmonica taking the listener on a melancholy saunter into the Midwestern sun.

Throughout Nowhere to Run, Tinkler reveals his songwriting proficiency time and time again, masterfully taking the reigns on tracks like "Night Birds," "Fade Away," and the album's title track. Even in his most minimal instances of songwriting, Tinkler often finds a way to accentuate each song with intriguing layers, whether it's with buried ambient ripples or his trusty harmonica. Also scattered throughout the album are strategic snapshots of Tinkler's plethora of rock knowledge. On "Low" for instance, shades of the classic '90s Britpop sound bleed through, with guitar solos eventually surfacing amidst a sea of driving distortion. It's again evident on "We Don't Need No Money," where we hear Tinkler's wonderfully gritty side, as soulful vocals meet spirited Southern twang. And when listening to "Summer's Over" and "Daydreamers & Misbelievers," it's pretty damn hard not to imagine yourself sitting comfortably around a campfire on a sandy shore somewhere, with hints of Beach Boys. Through and through, Tinkler's knowledge of song craft is evident on Nowhere to Run, whether it's in the album's instrumental minutiae or simply just in his irresistible songwriting style.


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