Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
Crystal Brinkman, Jackie Beckey and Crystal Myslajek of BruteHeart make an on-the-hunt sound that's the same as feeling as if every inch of your skin was pulling against its glue, separating itself from the hairs and pores. The Minneapolis band takes its stringed instruments into harm's way, leading them into dark alleys, out into the night, into fields that have all of your sensory organs tingling as you feel as if you just must be standing on a grave right now. Something, some bones, must be tossing and turning below the dirt down there. It's something. It's gotta be something. Or someone's tailing you, not all that far behind, getting closer, but staying out of sight, for now, building the suspense into a real storm. It could just be an ice storm. That might be what's impending, what's bearing down on us - the winds changing, the cold front getting colder and suddenly we're walking on slippery footing, falling and smashing our hip and elbow. BruteHeart music could be described as a sexy birdcall to all ravens, enticing them in with some active percussive work and the echoing swan song of lost and dead lovers, rattling out across the open sky, wandering like a ragged and tired gypsy. The spirits of these loves are warm and cold at the same time, flickering like shaky candles, but offering orangey goodness in an oval-shaped reflection on the wall. Brinkman, Beckey and Myslajek, the way their three vocals weave and mix together, is heavenly and you can pick out the differences, even as they seem to meld. There are instances where one sounds a bit more like Joanna Newsom and then another sounds like something closer to Grace Slick and yet all put together, it sounds like a twisted, haunted take on Andrew Bird territory.