The past several songs have been a bit more frenetic and loud, so I thought I’d wrap up the week taking it down a notch, with an absolutely stellar alt-folk musician named Tom Brosseau. “Here Comes the Water Now” is a song off his 2007 album, Grand Forks, which centers around the 1997 flood of Grand Forks, North Dakota (his hometown, though he’s currently based out of LA when he bothers stopping anywhere). I originally discovered his work via KEXP, who has had him on live several times (both of which are linked to on Tom’s site, one in 2005, and one in 2007), highlighted him during a podcast showcasing “freak folk” artists, and selected “Here Comes the Water Now” as a song of the day back in January.
There’s something about the timbre of Tom’s voice that immediately puts me in mind of “Chelsea Morning”-era Joni Mitchell: it’s light and lilting, and feels like an impassioned, personal interaction between the two of you — not because of some urging or force behind the singing, but because it is simply abundantly clear that he cares about what he’s singing. Given the topic of the song — being flooded out of your home — it is perhaps unsurprising that this is the case, though that same sense of care is present in his other work as well. “Here Comes…” is primarily a solitary voice and some crisp, clean guitarwork that ambles through, establishing the pace of the song. As it progresses, several other instruments are added, but they serve very secondary roles, augmenting the focus — the vocals. It all comes together in a really excellent song that is easy on the ears, that makes you smile softly and take a moment to reflect when it ends.
[Tom’s Blog (Well written and worth a read)]
[“Here Comes the Water Now” via KEXP (By way of Odeo, which archives older podcasts that may have dropped off the feed.)]