Coming off of two stellar shows this year – the release party for their long-awaited album Isolation, and a criminally hidden indoor midday gig at AS220’s Foo Fest – the members of the Brother Kite have further solidified their reputation as torch carriers for the legendary lost Providence power pop sound that flourished throughout the early ‘90s. To all the old timers cradling their cassettes of Velvet Crush’s Teenage Symphonies To God and longing for the days of small factory and Honeybunch, y’all really need to find a sitter and see the Brother Kite.
The above-mentioned release party at Westminster Street’s much beloved and now gone 201 saw the band unleash the full radiant spectrum that is Isolation, a record positively drowning in gorgeously layered, infinitely tracked guitar and vocal harmonies, and colossal drums flecked with the subtle throb of pulsating electronic patterns. The not-so-secret ingredient seems to be the looming presence, both literally and figuratively, of singer and primary songwriter Patrick Boutwell, a writer who manages to fearlessly expose cryptic emotion while simultaneously burying it in gauzy layers of genuine abstruseness.
The Brother Kite has always been a frustrating enigma – how can a band so immensely talented, with a proven record of delivering powerful and dynamic full length records beginning with 2004’s thebrotherkite, through to 2006’s Waiting For The Time to Be Right, along with a panoply of singles, split singles and EPs, still manage to sometimes (but certainly not always) play to empty rooms and get consistently left off of year-end lists from local publications? The answer may lie in the band’s seeming reticence towards tacky and indulgent self promotion on social media and a more natural and humble desire to merely release outstanding records and make quiet, barely talked about trips to indie rock Meccas like Austin’s gigantic South By Southwest music festival, which they’ll visit again next spring. The quiet success continues, as the band has recently released a new single, the insidiously catchy and almost embarrassingly great live favorite “Aching Heart/Clear Conscience,” as well as an EP, Eye To Eye, whose title track is one of their finest and most rollicking live endeavors to date.
Eric Smith, musician/music writer says: “Equal parts subtle and bombastic, the Brother Kite is simply one of the finest bands Providence has produced in the last ten years.”