Asked and Answered is Johannesburg Journalist now turned singer songwriter Bruce Dennill’s New EP. It’s a collection of songs that sees him turning himself around and looking back in, knowing what it feels like to be perused and judged by audience and media. Thing is, you can hear that Bruce does not give a damn about any of those things and that these songs are clearly written for his own personal reasons and creative spiritual needs.
Joined on the EP by some respected SA musos like John Ellis, Graham Smith (ex Watershed), Ralph Martin (ex Ballyhoo), Asked and Answered is a solid album, humble in its sound but scattered with important messages and melodies that stick. A big supporter of Tree 63, I can hear definite influences here in both lyrical style and sound.
6 tracks solid – stand out tracks are the moving and melodic ‘Nineveh’ – a song that shows the great future potential in Bruce’s songwriting and vocals. It’s a song about a whale and a man. ‘Nineveh’s chorus builds and swirls and uplifts. ‘Gethsemane’ with it’s massive choir finish featuring recording artist Alexandra May and musical theatre star Isabella Jane, is a definite must.
‘I See You’, the lead single featuring the jangly guitar of John Ellis (Tree 63) is an upbeat pop song with a deeper underlying lyrical tone – “There are people in all of our lives who are lonely, or who feel unloved. Drawing close to them is a tricky business – there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed that are made blurry by intimacy, and backing off when rules are about to be broken creates the possibility of inflicting extra pain. Not that maintaining an appropriate distance is ideal either: appreciating a person in such a space can just highlight the fact that others in their lives are ignoring something special,”says Bruce.
It’s an album that questions essentially human predicaments and fears, making them accessible in a non pretentious and open way.
Honest and moving storytelling by a man who should be writing his own review, but instead handing it over to the universe to see what kind of verse he gets back.
Six songs including new single “I See You” is available for streaming and download on Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Google Play and other digital platforms
Review – Captain Joanne O
Photo Credits: Centre Stage pics credit: Paul Elliott; others Michel Bega.