It's been a couple of years since I first wrote about Brolin, and since then his status has continued to grow, even of the facts we know about him haven't. The young man from Leeds with a passion for dogs originally donned a mask as he wasn't ready to face a clammering world wanting instant soundbite gratification. He might have kept up the cloak of mystery in person, but there are plenty of emotions laid bare on this fantastic début album.
Producer, musician, end even video director (his first stab at that was for Nightdriving below), he's retained complete control over the record and has spent the past few years polishing and honing it to great effect.
From 'NYC', the track that introduced him to the world, through latest single 'Nightdriving', the album is uplifting and heartening, as it wraps itself around you. Brolin himself has synaesthesia which he uses to creative effect as sound and vision become one, and he sees and feels atmospheres and places in his music. It's why songs like Reykjavik, Koln, Barcelona and NYC and named after places, as he matches the mood of the song with the city.
So what do we learn about Brolin from the lyrics? Here's a picture of him and his thoughts:
"I lie awake at night" - Nightdriving
"If the eyes are the windows to the soul you might see I lack control" - Kingston
"I won't leave the lights on if you ask me to stay, Follow me I'll guide you, I'll lead you astray" - Reykjavik
"I never thought I could feel so content in the shade" - Barcelona
"I will pull you under the waves, it'll soften the blow" - Koln
Thematically the album is a bit like a journey of discovery, different places and different feelings. If you're looking for a way of describing what this all sounds like, try imagining Jamie xx crossed with The Weeknd crossed with Caribou and you'll be somewhere on the way to arriving at the sound. But don't try and categorise it, it's pretty unique and it's actually bloody brilliant, so just buy it!