Here is the [un]necessary blurb about my first album, under the artist name Brigadoon.
Brigadoon’s debut LP Itch Factor couldn’t really have had a worse release date: March 2020 will go down as the month when everyone’s life changed. But releasing during a global pandemic was strangely appropriate: isolation, introspection and uncertainty are all central themes to this strange, ghostly and mournful lo-fi psych-folk record.
In May, Itch Factor was named as Pick of the Week by the Sydney Morning Herald and awarded a five-star review, which described the album as a ‘mesmerising soundscape that soothes the soul’, ‘as inviting as [it] is reclusive’ and ‘escapist art of the highest order – in many ways, the ideal soundtrack for 2020.’
Brigadoon is the artist name of singer-songwriter and poet Barnaby Smith. Itch Factor was recorded during countless late evening hours over a period of four years in a crudely constructed shack in the hills of the Northern Rivers in New South Wales. This primitive ‘studio’ was shared with numerous beasts, from giant huntsmen to geckos to the odd snake, while the sounds of looming cicadas and frogs made it on to some of the recordings.
These 15 songs might be described as loner folk or, in their DIY spirit, even outsider folk. Melancholic melodies and enigmatic lyricism pull the majority of the emotional weight, with dense vocal harmonies rippling through everything.
Itch Factor takes its cue from similarly uncompromising singer-songwriters such as Cass McCombs, Amen Dunes, Cory Hanson (Wand), Richard Dawson, Stephen Steinbrink, Lone Pigeon and Tim Buckley.
While there are no singles, as well as no social media, other praise for Itch Factor has included:
‘This just took me to a complete other place’ – Xan Rowe, Double J
‘Divine melodies’ – Karen Leng, Double J
‘A bleedin’ cracker… amazing album, something of great beauty and wonder. It deserves such broad exposure.’ – Jules Normington, founder of Phantom Records
‘Think Tunng if Tunng were entirely acoustic and upset with the world or a lo-fi Tim Buckley… The reason why Brigadoon really clicked with me was because of how simultaneously beautiful and miserable the album is at the same time.’ – Higher Music, review here
‘It’s got a really great darkly psychedelic garden greenhouse feeling. I don’t quite know how to describe it, but it’s very delightful.’ – Toby Martin (Youth Group)
‘A magical, rural, 3am record… a wistful and mysterious blanket covers the listener throughout, from the chiming and claustrophobic tones of ‘Of the North’ right through to bleak lo-fi ruminations on ‘All That is Solar’.’ – New Boots (UK), review here
‘Whether you’re drawn to its rustic guitar tones, ethereal melodies, or expansive atmosphere, Itch Factor can get under your skin with ease.’ – Haze Mag, review here
‘”Of The North”’ is fascinating in that it is kind of folk but it is also ethereal, psychedelic and has some really interesting guitar picking producing spine-tingling harmonic outcomes. His voice is crystal clear and floats enigmatically, aided and abetted by plenty of reverb, above a hypnotic accompaniment.’ – Neil March, Fresh on the Net (UK)
Previous work can be found at www.telegraphtower.bandcamp.com