The newest musical offering by alternative folk singer, Brymo is a little quirkier than usual.
This is from an artiste that is a confirmed outlier, never content to play in the norm.
From the peculiar choices of his album artwork, his penchant to always drop an 11-tracked album to his unwillingness to do a song feature, Brymo has always established the need to be different.
‘Yellow’, Brymo’s latest EP, plays in that same spectrum.
It kicks off crookedly, a little off from Brymo’s usual smoothly layered offerings with a track titled, ‘Esprit De Corp.’
A conspiracy-driven track about snitches and their tendency to bitch or something in that general vicinity.
Brymo likes to be vague, that is one of his many lyrical peculiarities; creating a double- layered message that is as cerebral as it is hard to decipher.
The first 10 seconds of ‘Esprit De Corp’ will definitely stop you in your tracks. And if you mistake it for a trap track by some algorithm-proposed artiste, then you are not alone in that assumption.
But make no mistake about it,
It is all Brymo, grit and all.
A genius take but unexpectedly unlike him.
He seems to come back to himself with ‘ozymandias’, a strangely-titled track in itself with a soulful almost melancholic edge.
Brymo is a griot, telling a story of love like a seasoned poet and the ‘Yellow EP’ is the tool he employs to do his bidding.
The guitar riff in ‘Blackmail’ is a work of art in itself, colouring the track with a soundscape that ventures into the 80s.
What is the relationship between Strippers and White lines?
Brymo tries desperately to explain in this super-vague, melancholic, ballad that sooths.
The track in question has an appendage that Brymo calls ‘Smart Monkey’ which consists of three lines, spoken three times without any music or an explanation.
Don’t Monkey around with Another Monkey’s Banana.”
The mood is pensive with ‘Without You’ and reads like a sad love poem.
“Your love blooms and withers and I won’t choose this life without you.”
‘Woman’ should have been the video track for this EP because it ticks all the creative boxes. It has a vibe to it that is both laid back and African, employing simple, easy to follow lyrics.
‘Where you go, I go go like snail and shell.’
A Brymo album is never complete without a savvy political leaning. His swipe at feminism is not lost on us in
‘Black Man, Black Woman’.
“Na society dey enforce the rules
But na woman dey dictate the rules,
Na wetin man go do
Na to break the rule but for good.”
‘Gambu’ employs creative Chinese musicality to tell a crude love story. An enjoyable piece with an oriental exterior.
‘Rara Rira’ is a tad familiar. An Afro-pop rendition that sounds uncannily familiar but cleverly slowed down to convey a message. A message of timely pleasure, kicking back and enjoying life at your level.
‘Brain Gain’ tackles the damage of immigration nightmare, the truth about the search for greener pastures and the novelty of love that endures.
‘Yellow’ is a colourful collective that takes you all around the world in 47 minutes using 15 unforgettable songs.
Before the EP runs out, Brymo lapses into his strength. The use of local language to tell a vivid story. He maintains this pace through ‘Adedotun’, ‘Orun n Mooru’, ‘A Feedu Fan na’ and finally ‘Abu Ya.’ The tracks feature a depth of storytelling that only proficient users of the language will appreciate.
A sensual discovery enveloped in the depth that only language can convey.
The ‘Yellow EP’ ends as unpredictably as it begins. Brymo does something he’s not known to do. He features an artiste; soul goddess Lindsey Abudei to be precise.
But that’s only half of the surprise, the other half is that the song in question ends without Brymo ever singing on it.
This article was written by Henri ‘Yire; connect on Instagram with him here