|Out of misery can come great beauty. Such is the case with Empty Ampersands, the new full-length album from singer-songwriter Brent Puls. A moving and insightful collection of eloquent orchestral pop, Empty Ampersands illustrates Brent Puls' commitment to arranging and songwriting that has developed from more than a decade of diverse musical projects from hip-hop producer to multi-instrumentalist in the prolific soul outfit Bumpus, in which Brent Puls worked alongside Rachael Yamagata; to Chicago indie-poppers Grammar. The craft Brent Puls exhibited on his 2010 EP West of the Lake has been honed and polished, making Empty Ampersands the latest high point of a still young, promising career.|
The beauty and insight displayed on Empty Ampersands was borne out of a deluge of personal tragedy for Brent Puls. A series of events including a parent's cancer diagnosis, a sibling's overdose, and an acrimonious break-up led Brent Puls to flee the cold, bleak Chicago winter for warmer, sunnier climes of Los Angeles. Even after the move, years of working every angle of the music scene with a broad spectrum of musicians, styles, and instruments had left Brent Puls exhausted and searching for a fresh start. Brent Puls holed himself up in a coach house for a year to write about his experiences, finding his own voice once again and tapping into an emotional catharsis that makes up the heart of Empty Ampersands.
Lead single "When You Called" is a heart-wrenching ode to a childhood friend's struggle with mental illness that showcases a unique and powerful prose while displaying a penchant for creative horn and woodwind arrangements, all played by Brent Puls himself. Indicative of the chiming orchestral pop found throughout the album, "When You Called" is a gateway into the complexities of love and life Brent Puls deconstructs with sublime splendor, the sound and voice of the next great voice in music.
Empty Ampersands will be released July 19th at Lincoln Hall in Chicago.
LISTEN TO/SHARE "WHEN YOU CALLED" BY BRENT PULS HERE:
EMPTY AMPERSANDS TRACKLISTING:
1. When You Called
2. Better Living Through Chemistry
3. Faster Than Light
4. Passing Tone
6. Empty Ampersands
8. Susie Lee
9. You Don't Know
Brent Puls Online: