John Brownlow | The Summertime

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Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Pop: Britpop Moods: Featuring Guitar
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The Summertime

by John Brownlow

Classic hook-driven, soul-tinged Britpop: guitars, harmonies, witty bittersweet lyrics and unexpected melodic twists and turns.
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Burn, Hollywood, Burn
4:45 $0.99
2. Live Forever
3:41 $0.99
3. Asteroids
4:01 $0.99
4. Government Work
2:46 $0.99
5. And the Creek Don't Rise
3:43 $0.99
6. Already Gone
3:59 $0.99
7. Don't Walk Away
3:47 $0.99
8. Baby Got a Gun
3:05 $0.99
9. Get Yr Groove On
3:11 $0.99
10. Gonna Have to Let You Down
3:48 $0.99
11. Let the Feeling Go
2:54 $0.99
12. Man in the Mirror
3:18 $0.99
13. On My Way
3:25 $0.99
14. Bullet to the Head
3:24 $0.99
15. Kingdom Come
4:35 $0.99
16. Occupy My Heart
3:51 $0.99
17. Rip It Up
4:16 $0.99
18. You Slipped Through My Fingers
3:45 $0.99
19. Shame the Devil
3:57 $0.99
20. Sunshine on the Radio
4:14 $0.99
21. Where My Mind Goes
5:16 $0.99
22. Radiation
3:18 $0.99
23. Let's Not (And Say We Did)
4:49 $0.99
24. The Pink Raincoat
4:31 $0.99
25. Shalala-La-La
4:21 $0.99
26. Where Does Love Go?
3:40 $0.99
27. Storm Coming
4:13 $0.99
28. One Fine Day
4:55 $0.99
29. Song for the Ferryman
4:44 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
“When I write, I always have this image in mind of somebody’s mum doing the dishes or the ironing or whatever, and bopping along to tunes coming out of a transistor radio on a sunny windowsill. That’s who I’m writing for. I hope she likes this album. I think she will.”
— John Brownlow

To say that JOHN BROWNLOW’s debut double album THE SUMMERTIME — 29 original songs spread over two CDs — was a labour of love would be something of an understatement.

“It was a massive undertaking”, says John, whose day job is as an internationally known screenwriter for film and TV, but whose first love is music and who grew up musically in the Britpop scene in London, UK during the mid 90s. “I had this very specific sound in my head and I knew the only way I’d be able to nail it would be to write, play, produce and mix everything myself, except the things I was physically incapable of.”

“People have quite rightly accused me of being a control freak and I decided to embrace it”

John grew up listening to Elvis Costello, Squeeze, Wire and other powerpop and new wave bands that emerged in the late 70s and early 80s. “Bands that had the rawness and energy of punk but brought it to bear on these earworm pop songs, with literate lyrics and not an ounce of pretension to them. When you look at the UK charts, 1978 was like this high-water point for smart-ass English pop music. And when you listen to the albums, they haven’t dated a bit.”

But the influences aren’t just English pop. “I’m a huge fan of late sixties soul music — not just Motown but Stax and Atlantic and a ton of little labels you’ve never heard of that were picked up by English DJs in Northern England and became known as ‘Northern Soul’. And at the same time you had rocksteady and the Studio One sound in Jamaica, and even Bossa Nova, that also got picked up and brought to England. It all somehow got mixed up in my brain, and I suppose this is the result.”

It turns out the 29 songs on THE SUMMERTIME — the title refers to the process of recording it in John’s studio with the big front door open to a spectacular view over Ontario’s Beaver Valley — are just the tip of the iceberg.

“I write music every day, and I record every idea I have, whether it’s a riff or a chorus or whatever. As a result I had hundreds, literally hundreds of ideas for songs. Some were fragments, some were whole songs with lyrics, some just had a chorus. So I decided to just listen to everything, and if it grabbed me immediately I put it on a shortlist. That got me down to about 70 songs. So I did it again and that got me down to 32 songs that hooked me in the first few bars. At that point, I really couldn’t decide between them, so I thought, well, screw it, I guess it’s going to be a double album!”

The result is a surprisingly focused, finely crafted collection of hook-driven songs that share a distinctive Britpop DNA while pulling influences range from powerpop, soul, funk, punk, new wave, bossa nova, roots and rocksteady. Despite having 29 songs, there isn’t a single filler on either CD. Standout songs include the anthemic SHAME THE DEVIL and LIVE FOREVER, both radio friendly soul stormer; BURN HOLLYWOOD BURN which dumps on Hollywood and the experience of being a screenwriter in a series of acutely observed true vignettes; and ASTEROIDS, a funky bossa nova told from the point of view of an astronaut heading into a thickening cloud of asteroids.

John was born in the UK but now lives in Ontario with dual UK/US citizenship. By day he’s a filmmaker and screenwriter. His credits include the movie SYLVIA with Gwynneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig, the BBC America series FLEMING about Ian Fleming’s career as a spy, and THE MINIATURIST, an upcoming 3 part series for BBC1 based on Jessie Burton’s best-selling novel.

John was active as a musician and music journalist during the heyday of Britpop during the 90s in a series of indie bands that garnered national airplay and reviews, but sold all his musical equipment in 2000 to help pay for the move to Canada. He picked up the guitar again after moving to rural Ontario in 2007 and has been writing and performing ever since.

THE SUMMERTIME is the follow up to X, the well-received 2014 CD from John’s previous band SPORTSWRITERS, which resulted in steady radio play and a feature interview on CBC Radio 1.



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