By Mike Dunn
CALGARY – As he gears up for a new record, Edmonton singer-songwriter Ayla Brook finds, as most songwriters do, the lyrics for his new tunes taking their time coming down the antennae. That said, Brook is well prepped, as he’s settled on the thematic and sonic tones of the record.
“As far as a theme goes, I feel like people could use a bit of reassurance,” says Brook. “We’re living through some dark things, and maybe there’s a space for rock ‘n’ roll to get back to just being, ‘Yeah, it’s alright’ in three-and-a-half minutes again. I’ve always loved hanging in that, 73-79, Stones, Petty, Faces kind of rock n’ roll, with a bit of the groove of classic soul. Sonically, the record, and by extension, the band are usually gonna sit in that general vibe of what rock ‘n’ roll is, or was. I’d really get a kick out of making the record sound a bit like the mid-80s, singer-songwriter thing with the super compressed drum sounds, like Mellencamp or Petty.”
While the themes of the record come into view, Brook is concentrating on what he calls, “platonic romance songs for friends and family.”
“In this digital age, it’s really easy to feel isolated, to isolate yourself, and feel like maybe you’ve done something wrong,” says Brook. “But the thing I realized, and that pulled me through some of my own dark times recently, is really how much community there is out there, and how when you spend some face-to-face time with people, you actually feel better. You know, like actually seeing your buds, and not just seeing what they’ve posted on Instagram or something, there’s so little valuable communication in that a lot of the time. I realized, that I, and maybe a lot of other people, had to remember that there are a lot of good people in your life, and you can rely on them when you need to. When things get rough is when people remember to get back together and help each other out.”
Ayla Brook & The Sound Men play at The Empress Ale House (Edmonton) Dec. 19.Ayla Brook, The Empress Ale House, The Sound Men