Song of the Day

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August 25, 2023

B.R. Lively: “Hope in My Heart”

By: Jack Anderson

With the oppressive heat and an especially tantalizing 24-hour news cycle, it’s worth taking a moment or two to just breath. So while neither we nor the artists we curate can claim to be mindfulness experts, we feel like today’s feature is pretty fitting for anyone in need of a mindset shift. It comes courtesy of Austin multi-instrumentalist-singer-songwriter Bryan Richard Blaylock (better known as B.R. Lively), whose well…livelihood….lies roughly within the boundaries of folk, outlaw country, southern R&B, and jazz. Lyrically Lively derives a lot from literature, but rest assured, his tunes aren’t so high brow that they’re inaccessible to the layperson. Lively first crested over the horizon with his debut Into the Blue in 2017, and tracked a companion piece fast in the aftermath. Well after nearly a half decade of solo touring across the US, Lively’s back in Austin and eager to unleash those counterpart recordings from their hard drive confines. Where Lively considers Into the Blue as an introspective, melancholic inhale, his sophomore follow-up People completes the process of process aural respiration with an exhalation of poignant wisdom, emotional growth, and realistic optimism; a Yin to Into the Blue‘s Yang. Lively takes the stage next Tuesday at High Noon for the People release show alongside Lola and returns the following Tuesday with Brothers of Mercy. But with scant chances of rain between now and then, let’s leverage those aspirations with “Hope in My Heart”. Co-produced by Band of Heathens collaborator Gordy Quist, mixed by Robert Ellis/Khruangbin engineer Steve Christensen, and arranged by string-and-horn visionary Thomas Avery, the sense of space, level of polish, and discipline of performance on this waltz are all nothing short of jaw-dropping. And as auspicious as it is awe-inspiring, “Hope in My Heart” will reward you with the essence of its title whenever the bleakness has got you feeling meek.

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