When we last heard from Sean Bryant, aka Big Brutus, the singer-songwriter had just unveiled The Odd Willow, a rich, expansive LP that tackled themes of death and beauty with keen and poetic insight. In support of the release, Bryant embarked on a bicycle tour up the East Coast, raising money for the International Rescue Committee and using the opportunity to confront his feelings of alienation by engaging with as many of his fellow Americans as he could along his journey. Inspired by his many encounters, conversations, and confrontations, Bryant set out to craft a record that, according to his press release, “calls out and dives into the racism, oppression, and political corruption rampant in America today.”
Entitled America Circa, the fruit of those labors is due out next month via Big Brutus’ new label, Brooklyn-based Paper Garden Records. The album’s lead single, “Consumer Machine,” finds Bryant at his most lush and breezy while lamenting the materialist culture that sacrifices the individual to the twin gods of money and corporate-driven consumption. “I pray Oh, God, where are you now? / Buying up commercial spots on the other side of town,” he sings on the song’s alluring chorus before the track erupts in a spellbinding blur of blown-out guitars and spiraling saxophone. Overall it’s a beguiling effort from a songwriter who continues to push his craft in challenging new directions.
Check out the single and lyric video below.
America Circa is out Oct. 6 via Paper Garden Records. Pre-orders are available here.