The Humble Grapes
The Humble Grapes have rarely idled for long since their 2013 formation. In that time period, the band has played throughout the New York City area and outside of the five boroughs. Their live shows have garnered much deserved praise thanks, naturally, to the music’s high quality and the members’ performing talents. Conceived as a vehicle for the songwriting partnership of David Kaufman and Brie Capone, there’s still little question when listening to their latest release, the single “Brooklyn Bridge”, that Capone has a spotlight on her. Kaufman can’t hope to wield the same public clout when his partner possesses such an idiosyncratic voice that turns simple phrasing into heartfelt pleas to be heard. She invests even the simplest moments with pained poetry. The yearning and doubt heard in her voice is, however, spiked with a subtle seductiveness, even almost playful, like someone who knows they can rivet listeners’ attentions and feels secretly gleeful for the fact.
There’s a spare pop beauty that opens the song, but its metamorphosis is quick. The light percussive brush and abbreviated piano lines coalescing around Capone’s voice gradually dial up the intensity until the song’s face changes and listeners find themselves staring down something entirely different. While the band shows ample restraint, we reach the chorus as a full-fledged light rock track, heavy on melody perhaps, but nevertheless nervy enough to impress itself on our memories. The lyrical content is equal parts suggestive and specific. Its 1st person point of view, common with many songs of this ilk, finds a wonderful interpreter in Capone. She dramatizes the song perfectly.
It’s important to praise The Humble Grapes for how they resolutely avoid imitation. While Capone’s vocal might prompt listeners to make an assortment of comparisons, she inhabits a distinct sonic space as a singer that few, if any, of her contemporaries share. There’s an indefinable quality in her approach that suggests she balances conscious artistry and instinctual response equally. Such a quality gives her skills an unique twist. She has access to an expansive array of emotions and, in one instance, can sound pleading while in the next seem skeptical or anxious.
The music has a directness that makes it accessible to any listener, but there’s unquestionable artiness that never sounds pretentious or sophomoric. instinctual response equally. Such a quality gives her skills an unique twist. She has access to an expansive array of emotions and, in one instance, can sound pleading while in the next seem skeptical or anxious.
The music has a directness that makes it accessible to any listener, but there’s unquestionable artiness that never sounds pretentious or sophomoric. The Humble Grapes are honest with their listeners and never come across like pop hucksters trying to sell us on anything they don’t feel or believe. “Brooklyn Bridge” is an enormously impressive offering that visits multiple musical worlds with real confidence and generosity. Check it out today!