What’s does a “sparkling balladeer” spin for his soundtrack when he’s traveling through the dusty desert? Escape From Bombay is a selection of hot-wired tunes for the fall sunsets and beyond. Listen to it now over on Spotify.
Ensign Broderick aka the ‘Sparkling Balladeer” is featured in a stunning spread for Toronto Life’s Most Fashionable this month. “I see fashion in everything. To me, fashion is the nexus between the art of clothing and the use of music.” — Ensign Broderick.
Read the full article here.
Toxic lakes, wellness clinics and mud-caked bodies: the cardinal direction of Ensign Broderick’s newest album, BloodCrush is a saline fever dream, calibrated to the cultish wraith waste vibes of California’s Imperial Valley. Inspired by pilgrimage, anti-war protests, Decca-era Stones and Smetana, BloodCrush is the first new collection from an artist who announced himself earlier in 2018 with four archival albums of wildly ambitious, hyper-referential art pop, a fraction of his forty years’ of recordings.
The opening track, ‘Standing In My Light’ drops us like a needle into all-night NYC. It’s 3am at The Carlyle. Our villain, an important man, is about to go down. A horn-spiked, Lower East Side punk-take on scandal and self, the track takes us through a semi-fictionalized account of the day a former IMF director was arrested on sexual assault charges. This is a fitting first act for BloodCrush, a title that alludes to powerful but fallible emotions.
“Love Died/Dies Here” details a relationship pulled between two poles, a circulatory barter between giving life and using it up. This song, ostensibly about romantic accountability, is also a key to understanding this unique artist’s own journey, from the creation of an anonymous persona as a teenager in the 1970s and the ensuing decades of solitary music-making to taking the stage and releasing albums worldwide as Ensign Broderick in 2018.
“Drowning Pool Eyes,” is a song crafted with calming, glowing orbs, meandering, wobbly steel, and soft intonations. “Tear Stained Venus” is a fuzzed out road trip/bad trip from Bombay Beach, a place where golden asses are not some ancient metamorphoses but the inevitable outcome of a relentless sun. Or tanning bed.
As many of these songs were started in the early 1970s, around the time of the creation of the persona Ensign Broderick, the decades of editing, altering and recombining present an artist engaged in a constant interplay with his present and his past selves.
“This is how I expressed myself,” says Broderick. “It became more and more private as the years went on. I think not in that type of really cloistered, savant way, like Henry Darger. I was a fully functional person in the world, I just had this other side of me that I kept to myself.” BloodCrush is this other side.
The album is an unprecedented reflection on creative expression across a lifetime. Produced by Malcolm Burn (Emmylou Harris, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop), recorded in between three other new albums on the way, BloodCrush is as spontaneous an album as an artist who painstakingly analyses and cross-references every letter and note can make. This meticulousness is not a quirk, but a fully realized, highly attuned artistic mandate.
BloodCrush will be out on Six Shooter Records on November 9, 2018.
Listen to ‘Standing In My Light’ here.
‘Sparkling Balladeer’ (Toronto Life) Ensign Broderick dazzled and looked dapper at this year’s Toronto Life party celebrating the city’s Best Dressed movers and shakers.
Check out the photos here.
“Every balcony is a poem, a chant — a muscle!” — Guy
Maddin Making its North American debut at TIFF in September and its American debut during Chicago’s International Film Festival come October, ACCIDENCE is only 10 minutes long, one long shot of a rather common apartment building. But, much like a neighbour you grow to appreciate, with each viewing you can’t help but be drawn in. As we watch, Rear-Window-style, we are surprised again and again as each new character appears and reappears. The soundtrack, Ensign Broderick’s ‘Accidence PSA’, floats in like an evening breeze, winding its way through each balcony. Even if your attention span is shorter than this sentence, filmmakers Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson and Galen Johnson have cleverly captivated the viewer by turning her into the voyeur.
After a sweltering summer of hot days, and hotter nights, filled with dance moves and gritty grooves supplied by Ensign Broderick’s four archival albums (Feast of Panthers, Ranger, Beauty Nor Ashes, Only Love Remains), the high-art rocker releases Roomful of Flowers, his third instalment in his triptych series.
Roomful of Flowers delves deep into the sweat and sounds of a swirling sexiness, descending into dark disco and rising again to higher tones and altitudes with alternate lyrics and versional visions.
Stream it, buy it, love it via your favourite platform here.
Where in the world can you see Accidence happen today? This short film, with music composed by Ensign Broderick and directed by Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson and Galen Johnson, continues to travel to film festivals all over the globe, from Hong Kong to Finland to Cannes. This fall, it will make its Canadian debut with Toronto’s International Film Festival.
Read more about the film and watch the trailer here: https://tiff.net/tiff/accidence/
Screening times will be announced August 21.
“There’s an abundance of strong material on the records, which feature glam tracks, new romantic-style synth-pop, string-enriched ballads, and straight-up rockers. His baritone is reminiscent of David Bowie, Scott Walker, Nick Cave, and, notably, Bryan Ferry, but has its own distinct flavor.” – Dangerous Minds
Since Ensign Broderick made his solo debut with Feast of Panthers in March, the Toronto-based pianist/composer has released three additional full-length albums, including Beauty Nor Ashes, Ranger and Only Love Remains, all available to stream here.
Interrelated and intertwined, these offerings explore concept and process while showing the vast panorama of Ensign Broderick’s influences, from opera to new wave, anime to runway couture, glam rock to desert noir.
Ensign Broderick’s aesthetic — high concept, high art and high fashion – has brought his music into the orbits of many noteworthy collaborators, from auteur filmmaker Guy Maddin to internationally renowned visual artist Kris Knight, and to Winnipeg’s New Music Festival, headlined by Philip Glass.
Only Love Remains is the fourth and final archival album to be released before his new album, Bloodcrush, arrives this fall.