The Classic Brown – Down With Fun

The Classic Brown
Down With Fun

The Classic Brown is primarily Canadian artist Stacey Brown with various friends adding their talent to the mix. This is Brown’s first full length, following her debut EP which was also self-released. David Downham, Steve Poponi, and David Dunn round out the cast on Down With Fun along with a few guest appearances for added flavor. Or is it flavour.

Stacey Brown dazzles with her introspective lyrics and simple music that is anything but over the top. Not even halfway through the album for the first time and I was instantly falling for the breathy vocals, sweeping acoustics and sweet charm that is The Classic Brown. The album as a whole has warmth to it that is often missing from artists that make music for reasons other than fun or pure enjoyment. Brown loves to make music and it shows. She also happens to be quite good at it.

Brown’s vocals remind me of the soft sound of Amy Millan from Stars. Like Millan, Brown sounds girly and sweet without the syrup or any hint of punk. The result is a voice that you want to listen to whether she’s singing about love or war and backed by a full orchestra or just one guitar.

“Baby-Making Bodies” explodes onto the scene with a simple, yet catchy pop tune that will grab you instantly. What starts out seeming like it could be a stripped down acoustic number, continues to add layers as it makes it’s way through the tune along with an electric guitar supported chorus. Next up is “Hit Parade” with another catchy number that rides along on a steady drumbeat.

The next two tracks provide a glimpse into what the Smoosh sisters might sound like in 10 years. “Rally Song” is a slower song that includes an upbeat chorus that is filled out with drums and keys. The keyboards replace a bass tone with a sound that is characteristic of nearly every song Smoosh has done in their young career. This is also seen in “Modulation” which starts right out with the signature keys then follows with smoothly layered vocals and soft drums.

There’s a good reason why I am not typically a huge fan of female-led bands. They all too often sound whiney and obnoxiously punk or they provide the listener with a full set of acoustic guitar-backed tracks that all sound strangely similar. But Brown is neither of these. Her voice is neither whiney nor boring and after 10 tracks, all clocking in around 3 minutes, she doesn’t overstay her welcome and in fact, one can’t help but wish there were a few more. From alt country tinged acoustic numbers like “Little Kensington” with beautifully layered vocals to quirky, upbeat tunes like “The Body Politic” and slightly darker ones like “The Accident”, all with well-thought out lyrics, there is so much to enjoy and little to wish for. The only thing keeping Brown away from a record deal is probably the fact that she hasn’t even tried to get one.