David Thomas Broughton – Outbreeding

I’ve heard a lot of good things about David Thomas Broughton and what a shame it is that the critics love him, other musicians love him and yet the public and to a large extent shops seem pretty well unaware of his existence. He’s not short of well made videos and live performances on YouTube and he certainly gets to play some prestigious festivals. However YouTube yields very few comments indeed and the live reviews of his gigs often comment on the small crowds. My personal taste in music is well documented (Bright Eyes, Neutral Milk Hotel, Whipping Boy, Savings and Loan, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Peter Hammill, Withered Hand etc) so even Catriona who hasn’t known me that long from working in the shop recommended it to me as something I might like and do something with. Others had told me how good he had been at Home Game and that while his recorded material was good he was even better live. This slightly worried me as I find the Josh T Pearson album quite ordinary when I play it in the shop and yet I am told live he is a completely different experience.

The album was scheduled for 23rd May but I was told by the distributor Cargo it had been put back to June 13th. However it seems to have been available from iTunes from 23rd. They were going to send me a promo but they didn’t have one and the finished copies hadn’t arrived. However quick investigation found the whole album on SoundCloud and I’ve been able to listen to it ever since.

I’m in touch with most of the other independent shops when I send them the Coalition chart so it was no surprise there were pockets of support already given he has played Home Game, is from Otley near Leeds and lives in London. Genius borderline annoying seems to be the accepted description for DTB but not only can I see enough people leaning to genius to make the new album a success but the album is slightly more accessible than previous work I have listened to.

Undoubtedly combined with live performance the album should reach a wider audience. Clearly critics and bloggers have enthused to their heart’s content but it has made no difference. DTB’s first album was in 2005. This should be exactly where the shops step in and take an album like this to a bigger audience but sadly I’m not sure if there are enough left with the time and the energy to make the difference they undoubtedly could do.

More importantly as I have said I can listen to the album any time I want on SoundCloud and shops will be asking their customers to pay a tenner. I totally understand the premise that by getting people to hear your music you might get more people at your gigs and sell more merchandise but this is not the case for the artists I speak to. Even those with a large number of plays on Spotify struggle to get decent numbers to their gigs.

So we shall see. David Thomas Broughton – somewhere between Josh T Pearson and Jeff Mangum. No pressure then ! Personally he reminds me of Jake Thackray.

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