I once read a blog post somewhere on the Internet saying that Atlanta musician Frankie Broyles, former member of Balkans and current member of Deerhunter, looked like the “most sad-looking sad boy ever” during one of his solo performances. Despite my source’s questionable credibility, I can confirm that Broyles does not make the most cheerful sounding of music. But that’s hardly a bad thing; I’d take one of his gorgeously somber tracks over a less-interesting happy track any day. Just listen to the swoon-worthy “Color Set” and you’ll see (or hear, I guess) what I mean.
Like “Color Set,” Broyles’s other songs are also heavy on their impressionistic sound (the more driving “A Vision” being an exception). It’s a marked contrast to the frenetic style of Balkans, and also fairly different from Deerhunter’s current rock n’ roll sound. If anything, Broyles’s songs share more of their musical DNA with the lo-fi tracks of Atlas Sound and Lotus Plaza, the other Deerhunter side projects (I guess it’s probably very obvious by now that I’m a big fan of anything relating to Deerhunter). There’s a melodic quality to the music that’s all Broyles’s own, though, and his songs are some of my favorites to listen to while walking around in the dark.
It’s understandable that Broyles hasn’t released any new tunes in a while, since recording and touring with Deerhunter probably takes up a lot of his time. So I was pleasantly surprised to see him reply to a comment on his Facebook page saying that he has much more solo stuff on the way. When he’ll release this new music is still a mystery, so I’m trying to keep my anticipation at a reasonable level. For now, I’ll just keep listening to the tracks on Broyles’s Soundcloud and hope that he doesn’t really feel all that sad. He seems like a nice guy.