ONE TO WATCH – Jason Sniderman returns as Ensign Broderick, his 80s glam-rock persona

“His grand music bears the influence of Roxy Music and a glittered David Bowie. Standing in My Light is a glam-rock boogaloo from the past, with bouncing piano notes and a disco ball gone super nova. Love Died/Dies Here is a heroic exercise in epic minor key balladry, standing as tall as Elton John’s highest platform boots. Electric Blue follows footsteps left on The Dark Side of the Moon.” – Brad Wheeler (The Globe and Mail)

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THE KEY OF X: ENSIGN BRODERICK JOINS SARAH SLEAN AND ERIN COSTELO FOR PIANO-FOCUSED SHOWS IN TORONTO AND NYC.



“A reclusive, romantic, tear-stained baritone and unabashed opus bringer.” – Globe and Mail

“Broderick makes old-school glam sound urgent, gritty, and absolutely vital.” – Uncut


A condemnation disguised as a benediction, Ensign Broderick’s BloodMyth speaks out against hate, pernicious nationalism and vainglorious self-destruction through characters that embody these, the very worst, ways of being. The album is an inverse/reverse/perverse excavation of 2018’s BloodCrush, a meditation on frailty and fallibility that edged ever closer to the brink. With BloodMyth, more a finale than a companion to its partner album, Ensign Broderick pushes things over the edge, where concepts of personal and political extremism come to swirling, chaotic conclusions.

Swept Away,” a 5-minute melodrama, explores the oceanic disorientation of being over one’s head. With a classic backbeat, horns and pedal steel, the song channels late 60s FAME Studios rock, the overall aesthetic somewhere between bedazzled Manuel contrition and glam dandy swagger, the twin pillars of Ensign Broderick’s sound and style.

Appalachian folk meets California pop in “Our Angel of Morphine,” a sweetly celestial treatment of a truly dark and nasty tale. Ethereal, soft-focus brokenness is also present in “Love Died Here,” an atmospheric opiated half-time reworking of a song from BloodCrush. Pain, of whatever sort, and the treatment thereof is a major theme in the album, in both lyrical and visual form. The vinyl package contains a collage built around a main image of a spinal-fusion operating table, its sleek chrome more Ducati than OR supply.

The inescapable disintegration reaches its apex with “The Telling Part,” the last and oldest song on the album (c. 1970), a tale of alienation and abandonment. Over twelve minutes, anger boils and bubbles over. ‘Tell me about starvation and sustenance,’ it goes, which in its way encapsulates the poisonous imbalance of give and take found at every turn. BloodMyth’s villains – anonymous caricatured embodiments of the deadly sins – trade only in damages.

In contrast to the desert glitter of BloodCrush, BloodMyth’s physical form – a vinyl-first release for Record Store Day Canada (a move true to form for an artist with such a deep connection to music’s physical places and pieces) – unravels in similar fashion. From jarring hi-def patent leather to the scribbles and edits on the lyrics, the vinyl edition echoes the devolution and deconstruction of music and narrative in art.

With six albums out in just over a year, Ensign Broderick’s story and experience of launching his solo career at age 59, has little precedent. Each album conveys a fully realized and distinct dimension of the artist and persona, yet a complete picture of the inner life and creative ambition of the artist is only just starting to take form. “You’re getting a different Ensign Broderick with each project,” says the artist. “The progression from the childlike perspective of Ranger to the totally superficial, fully realized glam of Feast of Panthers, to the very personal depth-plumbing of BloodCrush/BloodMyth is a maturation and a devolution. These are all puzzle pieces.”

Listen to Ensign Broderick in conversation with Danko Jones here.


TOUR DATES:

TORONTO, ON: The Key of X, The Mod Club, June 18 w/ Sarah Slean, Erin Costelo
NEW YORK, NY: The Key of X, Public Arts, June 19 w/ Sarah Slean, Erin Costelo


Ensign Broderick’s THE KEY OF X series brings classical, contemporary and experimental artists together to celebrate piano-based composition and performance.

The inaugural Key of X took place at Winnipeg New Music Festival in 2018 with Ensign Broderick and Jónas Sen (Björk).


For his second Record Store Day offering, the Making Vinyl Award nominated Ensign Broderick announces a double album creation BloodMyth/BloodCrush.

This Record Store Day 2019 edition, a deluxe double vinyl package, includes the artist’s first newly recorded albums, BloodCrush and BloodMyth. BloodCrush, originally released in 2018, is a meditation on frailty and fallibility, a collection of songs that edge ever closer to the brink. BloodMyth, the companion album, is a song cycle based in part on the seven deadly sins, and pushes things over the edge; concepts of personal and political extremism come to swirling, chaotic conclusions.

Each Record Store Day double package comes complete with original cover art by painter Kris Knight and one of five Kris Knight prints, artful booklets that feature polaroid photographs by German photographer Stefanie Schneider and handwritten lyrics by Ensign Broderick, with blood red splatter pattern 180 gram vinyl within (one print per package: either of two different Kris Knight prints: or one of three Stefanie Schneider prints of a Polaroid). This art-packed exclusive offers vinyl collectors a first listen of BloodMyth, the shattered looking glass companion to BloodCrush, ahead of its worldwide digital release.

 

We awoke Christmas morning to find a thrilling article from The Globe & Mail’s Brad Wheeler, about his “6 best under-the-radar Canadian musicians of 2018”, which included BloodCrush (Six Shooter Records).

From the piece: “Who is Ensign Broderick, and why has he chosen 2018 to blow our minds? It’s complicated. After the discreet release of four albums of stashed archival music earlier this year, the newly recorded BloodCrush represents the grand emergence of a reclusive romantic, tear-stained baritone and unabashed opus bringer. The grandiose Electric Blue wishes Pink Floyd were here; Love Died/Dies Here is operatic in its realization. The whole thing is undaunted. In this dawning era of hologram heroes, Broderick materializes real, proud and rich in blood.”

Step into the rainbow world of Ensign Broderick by owning one of his iconic “Sparkle Jackets”. All you have to do is click here and Follow Ensign Broderick on Spotify and/or Save BloodCrush on Spotify to get entries into the contest. You have until April 1st to enter. Good luck!

Out of scores of feature and short films featured at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, the Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson and Ensign Broderick collaborative short film ACCIDENCE made the esteemed organization’s list of Top Ten Best of the year! Thanks, TIFF!

In an in depth interview published last week from The Canadian Press, writer David Friend explores the man behind the mysterious Ensign Broderick and the 60 years of music that paved the road to release. Read the full article here.

Across the pond, the incomparable publication UNCUT gave a glowing 8/10 review to BloodCrush, adding EB makes “old-school glam sound urgent, gritty and absolutely vital.” Read the review here.

Meanwhile in the land of podcasts, “Someone Else’s Movie” talks music for film and Ensign Broderick’s work on the critically acclaimed short film, ACCIDENCE. Listen here.

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After the release of four archival albums of wildly ambitious, hyper-referential art pop, Ensign Broderick offers his first newly recorded album, produced by Grammy-winner Malcolm Burn (Iggy Pop, Patti Smith). On BloodCrush, Ensign Broderick channels Decca-era Stones, T-Rex swagger, Nick Cave’s beautiful macabre and Joshua Tree trippiness into a collection of songs that meditate on power, fallibility and the cult of personality.

Read the glowing review in Exclaim here.