It was recorded in her living room, in Toronto, the evening of August 21, 2009, in one take and most of the instruments were "improvised" or "played on the fly".
It's a small, miracle, from someone who seems to not care to much about guidelines and archetypes, and so she let her songs fall from the sky, unfolding themselves slowly on the ground, caring only about the spontaneity of atmosphere and interpretation, about being lost into it.
And "Bride + Loom", the result, is almost too pure to exist.
There are indeed a few errors and faults, as example, the mixing option of putting the vocals on the forefront and the music much more in the background is surprising and somewhat counterproductive. There is something undecided, something floating in the air. She is haunted.
"Between Fires", the second song, and the shortest one with less than four minutes, is simply exquisitely moving and reminds me of the most precious songs written by songwriters as Jen Wood, Julie Doiron or Geoff Farina, particularly those written at the beginning of their careers. Only listening a few times to this song will help to catch the beauty contained.
She hopefully belongs to this generation of songwriters emerging recently, from Deep Waters to Vio/Miré, from Talons' to Karaocake, proving that all hasn't been said and written about the expression of melancholy.
The electric guitar is wonderfully monotonous, the organ almost unnoticeable but always purposeful, the occasional bass and a few sounds and obviously her vocals and it leaves me sometimes emotionally in pieces. It is not slowcore or sadcore in an obvious manner, she is not trying, it is just all about depth and subtility.
There is room for progress on "Bride + Loom", she is opening many doors which she could explore or not later and we are her between the format of a demo and a debut EP.
I am impressed, I am fascinatedbut i still feel insecure about whe she will achieve on her forthcoming debut LP.
Besides "Between Fires", the four other songs are between six and nine minutes but you would never believe they are so long. I find almost impossible to give a clear picture of where Brooke Manning is sitting, even if her colors are familiar to me (except the aforementioned, other names like Mazzy Star, Low, Lisa Germano, Opal, Jane Siberry wouldn't be such strange companions to her own songs) she is like a new flickering star on a previously darker part of the milky way.