Album Review

Jude Brothers - render tender / blunder sunder

Jude Brothers bears their soul and share their shortcomings, honouring traditional folk sensibilities whilst their fearless vocal range and entrancing lyricism lends an entirely individual dimension to the music.

Jude Brothers - render tender / blunder sunder Album Review
May 16, 2023 4:04 pm GMT

x-logo
f-logo
email logo
link icon

Link copied

Content Sponsor

Jude Brothers - render tender / blunder sunder

Label: Gar Hole Records

Release Date: May 12, 2023

Producers: Jude Brothers and James Lutz

Tracklisting:

1. render tender / blunder sunder

2. doubt / doubt!

3. yar wut yar / i love you for it!

4. torch bare / the boss!

5. leti says / rain in the desert!

6. blackest crow / deerest deer!

7. practising silence / looking for water!

8. thank you for letting me go / thank you for letting me grow!

9. last song / upper gallinas!

Sometimes an album possesses such transportive powers that you find yourself totally ensconced, only becoming aware of the trance you’ve been placed under halfway through. Time seamlessly slips by before you’re so much as aware of its passing.

Jude Brothers is a possessor of such power.

Their latest album, render tender / blunder sunder, beholds a kind of mesmerising, mythical force that feels ancient in origin yet at the same time entirely original. Whimsical, mischievous moments are interwoven with reflective, optimistic ones, as Brothers contemplates their experiences with heartbreak, identity and healing.

The album’s opening track, an instrumental soundscape of lapping waves and far-away noise, sets an atmospheric tone of what is to come. It acts as an opening title, a warm-up to ready the listener for the world they are about to enter.

Brothers begins the second track, ‘doubt / doubt!’ singing; “I don’t have to be your first choice / Hell I don’t have to be your third choice either”, to a gentle but driving background beat. It feels light and delicate, with Brothers’ vocals soaring and ebbing as they reflect on the ending of a relationship.

While distinctly folk, Brothers’ captivating voice is at times child-like and confident and others sage and weary, making it impossible to label what you are listening to; an Appalachian-influenced Kate Bush, if you will.

‘yar wut yar / I love you for it!’ showcases the best of their vocals, dancing between dream-like chanting and a soft-edge yodel as they take you from harmonious hysteria to quiet confession, with everything in between. A whole, beautiful journey in itself, the listener is left somewhat exhausted by the end.

It’s not until ‘practicing silence / looking for water!’ that we are introduced to Brothers’ secret weapon - their expertise at the Celtic lever harp. If Brothers wasn’t eccentric and ethereal enough, the harp’s hypnotic notes offer yet another folkloric dimension to the record. ‘last song / upper gallinas!’ closes the album amidst intricate strings and soothing vocals, as they let go of all that they held onto and step lighter towards a new path.

An oscillating, other-worldly account of searching and struggle, flecked with humour and hope, this is far more a heartbreak album. It’s a weird, wonderful, charmingly idiosyncratic but wholly accessible record.

Jude Brothers bears their soul and share their shortcomings, honouring traditional folk sensibilities whilst their fearless vocal range and entrancing lyricism lends an entirely individual dimension to the music.

8.5 / 10

Jude Brothers 2023 album, render tender / blunder sunder, is out now via Gar Hole Records.

For more Jude Brothers, see below:

Written by Rosie Down
Content Sponsor
Album - Kelsey Waldon - There's Always A Song
reviews

Kelsey Waldon - There's Always a Song

Album - Brian Kelley - Tennessee Truth
reviews

Brian Kelley - Tennessee Truth

Angel White - GHOST OF THE WEST: VOLUME I Album Cover
reviews

Angel White – GHOST OF THE WEST: VOLUME I

Orville Peck - Stampede Album Cover
reviews

Orville Peck - Stampede Vol. 1