Stori Brooks - '(( purple ))'

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this review, I’m going to be exploring the rather peculiar new release of Stori Brooks, a single entitled ‘(( purple ))’ which is due out on Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora shortly. Inspired by her mother who was a classical concert pianist, and by the ‘sounds and movements of nature,’ Brooks has effectively created one of the more haunting and unusual sonic excursions in the indie scene this year.

‘Purple’ (I’ll be shortening it to that for ease here on out) is nearly impossible to place into a box. Brooks’ vocals at the very beginning evoke pop music, but her atmospheric croons doused in reverb quickly offer a sound much more akin to drone music. About a minute after the ghostly harmonies enter, electronic percussion and an equally drone-like cello slide into the landscape of ‘Purple,’ too. (The latter played by her nephew, Neph Brooks.)

Don’t get too comfortable, though, because Brooks changes things up at the two minute mark by introducing a hip hop style lead vocal track. Yes, Brooks has essentially compounded half a dozen genres into one surprisingly coherent track. The instrumentation is mesmerizing, even surreal, and transports the listener to a remarkable place. On a quality set of studio headphones, ‘Purple’ will send a chill down your spine.

I don’t know how to classify Stori Brooks’ new song. It would defy any attempt I could make to do so. She tags herself as “alternative hip hop,” but I think there’s a lot more to it than that, even. Clocking in at less than three minutes, it’s a song you’ll find yourself looping into oblivion as it envelopes you entirely. Thus, it’s very much worth any listener’s time, if not just to appreciate the bizarre soundscape Brooks has created out of classical, electronic, drone, and hip hop influence.

Oh, and if this is any sort of tribute to Prince - well done, Stori.