With their newest album Do You Like Salt?, D.C. art-punks BRNDA—out Friday, August 20 via Crafted Sounds and exclusively premiering here today—deliver 10 scrappy songs about the little things we clung to as our routines slipped away during 2020.
It’s a pretty indisputable truth that the majority of songs that have been, and will be, recorded in the pop universe are either about love or are covers of love songs that already exist. When the quartet started causing some mischief of their own back in 2012, they had one mission statement: they would never would never entertain the idea of playing either. Besides, when you take love off the table, no subject seems small or unworthy no matter how generally inane it is in everyday life. On Do You Like Salt?, the band tests the limits of this theory to great success with a collection of stream of consciousness rave-ups that somehow nail a conversational shorthand for those of us who are barely hanging on by a thread during public interactions these days.
Engineered by Justin Moyer at White Oaks Studio in D.C. and mixed and mastered by the tireless underground hitmaker Jonathan Schenke, the record captures the eye of Hurricane BRNDA beautifully. On the opening track “Beverage of Choice,” you can hear a nearby car drive by as Dave Lesser’s and Torrey Sanders’ guitars bounce off of each other as if they are in a round robin with Leah Gage’s drumset. This ambience that the band could be playing amongst the world is a refreshing throughline that runs through the record until the final Lesser sung acoustic guitar and clarinet ditty “Red Iguana.”
There is a strong dose of Pavement’s guitar nonchalance mixed with Pylon’s dedication to the party as the band plays like they have ear-to-ear smiles on their faces throughout. You can hear the manic glee in Lesser’s voice as he yelps “I LIKE SALT” as he lists off snack-based non-sequiturs on the standout “Year of The Hot Dog By Burger Gang.”
As all three members take over vocals throughout the record, they write poetry of the everyday with, at times a dadaist flare. It could be a simple fixable issue that pushes you to the brink of no return like getting served the “Wrong Taco” or whatever is going on in the song “Service Loser.” BRNDA don’t need to be direct because since when is anything ever that simple?
Do You Like Salt? by BRNDA is out everywhere on August 20th, but you can stream the album below.