‘Reservoir’ is the debut album from six-piece country rock band Brown Horse. Following the teasing release of singles ‘Shoot Back’, ‘Stealing Horses’ and ‘Sunfisher’, ‘Reservoir’ quenches our thirst for the complete series as the ten tracks gift a dark and sultry reflection of the more gloomy sides of human nature.
In their infancy, Brown Horse saw Emma Tovell, Nyle Holihan, Patrick Turner and Rowan Braham treating pub crowds to their bouncy, folksy tunes. Six years later, having picked up Phoebe Troup and drummer Ben Auld along the way, Brown Horse has pulled through more alternative rock and guitar-driven influences that this latest album so perfectly emulates.
Thanks to the entire Brown Horse herd consisting of lyrical and multi-instrumental maestros, Patrick Turner’s honey whisky vocals coat each track with lyrics that wouldn’t be amiss in a melancholy poet’s notebook. Collectively they have mustered a songsheet full of unique, country style ballads overflowing with soul and emotion – the only thing missing being chirping crickets and the crackle of a campfire.
When speaking about the album’s creation, the band said;
“When it came time to record, the most difficult thing was working out which songs we would have to leave out. All of us in Brown Horse are songwriters, and each of us have been writing for years, which meant we were walking into the studio with a pretty big back catalogue of songs we couldn’t hope to record all of in just a few days. In the end, we felt that the songs which make up ‘Reservoir’ shared something tonally; a kind of dark undercurrent which verges on desperation at points. It’s kind of a sad album, which is strange given how much fun we had making it”.
Whilst notes of accordians and fiddles bring the quintessential edge of a country-folk sound – bending guitar riffs and a steady beat add an essence of classic 90s rock and roll. From ‘Reservoir’ and ‘Sunfisher’ to the beautiful tribute to songwriter ‘Paul Gilley’, each track delves into various motifs of the human experience; exploring loss, grief, loneliness, frustration and other tribulations that come with finding your feet in the world. As a result, ‘Reservoir’ comes to us like an old friend – the melodies and lyrics taking your hand in a slow spin as you romanticise some of life’s most trying times.
‘Shoot Back’ is a particular stand out track, with loaded lyrics that reflect frustration, impatience, and an exhaustion of sprinting towards a light at the end of a tunnel that, annoyingly, seems to be getting further away. When delving into the song’s origins, Brown Horse said;
“…It’s a questioning, frustrated kind of song. The lines in the chorus were based on something we heard someone say in a union branch meeting. It’s a pretty angry song in a lot of ways but there’s maybe some hopefulness mixed in there too”.
Overall, ‘Reservoir’ provides an atmospheric, elegaic soundtrack for moments of reflection and reminiscence. It’s true that misery, in any form, loves company and through this album and their seemingly endless creativity, Brown Horse offers a reassuring, outstretched hand of solidarity as you allow yourself to be one with all the emotion that life can bring.
With the release of this debut album, it’s evident that Brown Horse have an exciting year ahead of them, especially as they continue on their UK tour. Fans can look forward to having the full ‘Reservoir’ experience on 22nd March at Salford’s The Eagle Inn, where Brown Horse will undoubtedly confirm their position as masters of their craft. Tickets available here.
Written by Charlotte Niblett