Derek Browne / dDub: Dreaming House - Album Release
DEREK BROWNE / dDub
DREAMING HOUSE – ALBUM RELEASE
Most things I know go the way
they ought to go
In fact I'd say that it's always so -by Derek Browne
By now most of have heard of the untimely passing of New Zealand musician Derek Browne, the architect and frontman behind vaunted Kiwi groove merchants dDub. His brass-infused riddim' and roots rock splashed onto the NZ music scene a dozen years ago, and his joyful live shows made dDub a mainstay on the festival circuit, headlining WOMAD, Splore, and Rhythm & Vines, among others, and selling over 10,000 records thanks to the successes of songs like Hesitate No, Quicksand and Medicine Man.
While he had been absent from performing, choosing instead to focus on his wife's burgeoning career (Auckland-based fine artist Veronica Herber), Derek never stopped writing, and in November of last year, was planning his return to the recording studio when, during a visit to the doctor for a nagging back pain, the 49-year-old was diagnosed with late stage cancer and was told he had but a few months to live. Devastating news.
Dreaming House is Derek Browne's ultimate act. Recorded during his final month, it was literally his dying wish that he put these songs to tape. This collection is naked and simple, performed with just acoustic guitar and a vulnerable yet determined voice. It is raw and honest, and sad and beautiful all at once.
And in this stripped-down production, what is revealed is the easy beauty of Browne's natural song writing skill, laid bare for all to see. Where dDub swept the audience up with a high energy sonic vibe, Dreaming House is a classic singer songwriter's album. Songs like Hearts On Fire and Joker On A Broken Stool recall the song craft of Philadelphia-era Springsteen and vintage Dire Straits, while Snow Trail Woman evokes the sound of the Laurel Canyon troubadours of the 1970s.
Don't Mind Me and the title track have lyrical muscle and hooky choruses, while The Ward and Everyone Has To Go are haunting confessionals, written with the knowledge of what lies ahead. And yet with this knowledge, there is the grace of acceptance that is captured beautifully in Close To Me, the first song released from this collection. About a man and a woman and their own converging paths, it is written from the detached point of view of witness, not participant. The outcome no longer matters. It is the act that is everything;
Most things I know go the way they ought to
In fact I'd say that it's always so
So come in here come close to me
Make me smile for a while
Sweet believer in the ocean and sea
Come to me just one more time
Close To Me single – available to download Tues 2 July Spotify
Dreaming House album - available to download Tues 16 Jul Spotify iTunes Apple Music