Aimee Bobruk: /ba. ‘brook/

aimee brobuk, ba brookAimee Brobuk: /ba. ‘brook/
The phonetic title of Aimee Bobruk‘s newly released /ba. ‘brook/ is but a preview of the oddness contained in the album. Whereas many indie-folk artists stick to tried-and-true permutations of the genre, Bobruk has a penchant for pushing the envelope–though at points she pushes it over the edge.

The album begins with the lazy “A Day in the Life”, its opening guitar strums like that of Good Old War. Bobruk’s vocals tiptoe over the music, echoing an Eisley sort of vibe. The first sign of oddness comes at the end with a strange garbling of mouth noises that mimic the musical hook. Then comes the cryptic “Omanishko” with a flowing, muted sound like Flood of Red‘s newer material. Airy background vocals creep in midway through the song, lending to the mysteriousness of the track.

Bobruk has a skill for crafting birdlike melodies over chilled guitars and a roomy beat, and she exemplifies this on “Secret” with vulnerable lyrics and gentle keyboard beeps. Although rather hushed, the song is perfect for lakeside reflection or a country drive. “Is There Nothing” works in the same way, blending the sound of the Beatles with country-influenced instrumentals during an interlude. The album’s single, “Two of a Kind”, finds Bobruk crooning in a midrange with a cinematically worn-out feel. It’s a departure from her trademark vocals, but it suits her style well, and she often harmonizes to fill out the sound.

With her sensitivity to her music comes the want for outside-the-box thinking. “Do You Remember” is at best a twangy lounger, at worst a Triple Crown Records wannabe. Bobruk sings ethereal lyrics over a typical waltz beat and an easy instrumental. The combination isn’t the worst, but it sounds as if her voice is hindered, and not helped, by the music. The record’s weirdest moment is “In Your Own Language”, where Bobruk preaches innovation amidst a background of whirligig sound effects. While she may be going for a unique effect, it sounds more like a toy store imploded. The sounds are out of place and disrupt the timing of the song. It concludes with what seems like the beginning of the next song, but is an interlude at the end with vocals that spiral downward.

/ba. ‘brook/ has quality moments (“Trigger Finger”) and projects gone wrong (“Language”), but it is Bobruk’s style that remains consistent throughout–though it has much room to sonically expand. Despite this, the album doesn’t exactly stand out from the pile of other artists equally influenced by Western culture and the quiet rural landscapes. It doesn’t deliver a strong punch to the listener, but is a solid effort that will please many indie enthusiasts.
Rating: 6.4/10
MP3: Aimee Bobruk “Trigger Finger”
Buy: iTunes