DREAMING WIDE AWAKE WITH BRAHNY
Reporting live from Brahny’s dreamworld
I found out about Brahny (Brian Han) through Monsune, actually. Quite fitting, as they both quickly became some of my favorites. Though I wouldn’t say that their music is all that similar, I can see how they collide, particularly in their visual direction and the honesty of their music. Their music feels exactly like themselves and what they want to put out there. “Bloom,” the first song I heard from Brahny, actually had a music video that was directed by Monsune. Beginning with four people minding their own business and brushing past each other on the streets, the camera follows each of them seamlessly until they all end up at a private laundromat performance of “Bloom” by Brahny (thought I recognized that long tracking shot somewhere *wink wink*). But more importantly, the song itself is effortlessly smooth and comforting, Brahny’s vocals airy but warm. A pretty good introduction to who I would discover to be an incredible artist.
Listening to Brahny is like stepping into the most decadent dream. He only just (and literally just because it came out on November 14th) released his EP, moon, and the whole album is filled with soft R&B vibes that are elevated by both his vocals and lyrics. His breathy, airy vocals paired with chill baselines make the ideal dreamy melodies, and the six songs are each calming (and ~groovy~) in their own way. It’s utterly charming how effortlessly everything seems to flow together, how Brahny’s voice easily soothes you. Honestly, the entire album makes me feel like I’m floating on a cloud.
“Paradise,” a sneak peak of his new EP, moon, was released in August with a music video directed by Brahny himself. The visuals are, as expected, beautiful and dreamy. Divided into three acts--Departure, Arrival, and Paradise--the whole music video evokes the feeling of being in a hazy dream. Moody from the very beginning, the video progresses from reality into a haze, probably as Brahny falls asleep (although I would argue the reality was hazy to begin with). By the end of the music video, the day has turned into night and their bare faces have been painted Beijing Opera-style. A fog envelopes Brahny and his three other cast members as they mouth the lyrics to the song: “I could save a rising sun / Give it to you to feel warm wherever you go.” These lines are as romantic and dreamy as the song, but behind this ideal is the lingering truth of reality that we all have to face. “You’re feeling like the truth / Try to be who you want me to” point to the realities of our lives--that we try to be what we think the other person would want, but we all have to compromise in the end as we face who we really are.
And that’s the point in Brahny’s music--smooth-sounding as it is, what really makes it for me are the poetic lyrics. “Paradise” presents the illusion of an ideal relationship but shatters it all at once, and “Auburn” transports me straight to a foggy open road in the fall. “Bloom” has some of my favorite lyrics to date, with lines like “Remember back when you were young summer nights were love / Liquor melts into your heart starburst on your tongue” and “Wakin’ up to restless minds drowned in memories / Fever dreams in vivid reds calmin’ by your tongue.” A chorus like that sells itself, and the entire song is like that. The magic is in the imagery and sensory details. At the risk of overanalyzing his lyrics and making this sound more academic than it should be (or already is… sorry), I digress. But I will say that once I started paying closer attention to Brahny’s lyrics, the more meaningful his songs became. To be fair, I was a English literature major and this is sort of my type of ~thing~, but I do think it adds a whole new layer to his music.
I’ve put Brahny on more times than I can count on a rainy day, or when I was walking to the subway station and just needed something to calm me down from the loud noises of the city. Brahny does the trick every time.