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HomeMusicBryn Battani: Guest Room - EP Review

Bryn Battani: Guest Room – EP Review


Bryn Battani: Guest Room

(Self Released)

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Out Now

Minneapolis-based chamber pop artist Bryn Battani finds herself far from seemingly everything on her third EP, Guest Room.

Guest Room was written over a year across two continents, and recorded between quick sessions in Austin, Texas, the city in which she grew up to floors of Uptown Minneapolis apartments. It wasn’t, Battani explains, given the opportunity to truly plant itself anywhere, which plays into the themes of the piece.  Following 2021’s All I Have To Offer You Is Anything You Want and 2023’s Hang Your Clothes, Guest Room contemplates rejection, intimacy, distance & desire & disappointment. “It’s about times you’ve gone
out of your way, literally bus rides & airfare, to be with someone who was never actually available… being invited, then feeling out of place & shoved away once you get there”.

Battani has previously been described as, “Slyly intense and disarmingly earnest, weaving clever, tongue-in-cheek lyrics with vibrant arrangements”. All of these traits are on show here. Influenced by artists like Fiona Apple, Andrew Bird and Regina Spektor. She supports her lyrical craftsmanship with genre-bending chamber pop arrangements and folk instrumentation.”

What I hear on this release, and is something that artists such as Amelia Coburn, Kasey Chambers and  Suzanne Vega do, is via personal lyrics is the ability to paint a vivid picture. One of Battani’s strengths is, with a wit and knowing, she has the listener imagining ‘scenes’ in your mind despite being a world away.

The opening track Ya Don’t Think? is a graphic and uncomfortable telling of a trip to visit her partner’s hometown in which she’s made to be the unwelcome guest. It sets the tone for release as the next track, So-Lo, which was written in Prague, has the artist living in an
unfamiliar space, on the other side of the world from someone she wanted to be with, yearning for a connection which would never come to fruition, forever out of reach.

At the midway point, we have Dicey (The Floor Song). More country that chamber pop and also possibly the most accessible track on first listen. Battani says the song was first sketched out on, “a bus ride after crashing on an ‘unlikely floor’ the previous night.” The gallops along at pace which may have been informed by that journey.

After soul-searching and displaying her fragility, the songs continue to grow colder as the EP closes with Weighted Blanket and ~The Thing ~ (tilde’s deliberate). Although the former suggests more rejection, ~The Thing~, offers a light at the end of the tunnel, Battani explains, “I wrote ‘~The Thing~’ after someone ended a relationship with me because I no longer made depression feel “better.” The rejection made me feel used and discarded like some sort of product—expected to provide a quick fix, then tossed out when the high wore off. I ruminated on how we look for some “thing” – like a substance, job, or relationship—to fix a problem, or fill a void inside”.

What we get on Guest Room is the complete package, the subject matter will be relatable to many, and the askew take on situations offers occasional light relief whilst musically there is something that draws you in such as the nod and feel on the last couple of tracks, maybe subconciously, to the likes of Carley Simon and Carole King.

It’s a 5-star positive comment in the visitors’ book from me… and I’ll be sure to come back again.

Find Bryn via her Bandcamp and website

Bryn Battani: Guest Room - EP Review

All words by Iain Key. See his author profile here or find him on X (Twitter) as @iainkey

 

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