Posts Tagged ‘Eric Endo’

Brick Bosso strikes back, and doesn’t wait for Valentine Day to pay a tribute to the women in his life. Introducing “Bianca”, an album made of 8 portraits of important influential women in Keith Walsh’s life.

One could think Brick Bosso called it a day, after its man Keith Walsh having found success in MindFree. On the contrary, Walsh wouldn’t let go that easily: “As Brick, I am my own man. Though the MindFree/ Brick Bosso phenomena are in an energetic, infinite loop that feed off each and need one another.

Walsh also admits that his songwriting with MindFree benefited Brick Bosso: “The thing that’s changed the most is my ability to come up with parts…. music is always swimming in my brain now, so it’s easier to keep a conversation going when I power up my studio.

The keyboardist of MindFree needs Brick Bosso, his solo project, as much as Brick Bosso needs him to keep on going: “Creating music generally helps keep me together, that’s for sure. It lets me give expression to ideas and emotions that might otherwise boil over.

All along those 8 songs of various influences, Walsh obviously leads, though delegating the guitar parts to now frequent guest Eric Endo. “I love working with Eric, he’s an absolutely brilliant guitarist who always knows how to bring a song to a higher level.

Working with Eric seems fun, but having the great Mark Abbruzzese as MindFree colleague, would the latter be more appropriate to guest on Brick’s albums? Walsh doesn’t seem to bother choosing: “I will work with [Eric] again whenever possible, and also with Mark Abbruzzese from MindFree when he’s available for Brick Bosso projects.

Being now recognized as a member of a solid band, wouldn’t Walsh be tempted to turn the Brick Bosso project into a real band? A live band? He doesn’t seem to be fond of the idea: “I’ve thought about doing a one man show, either with stripped down versions, or using sequencers. Right now I’m messing with my midi files a bit to see if I can get them into a groovebox for that purpose. If and when that happens, I’d probably bring a guitarist in for live shows.

But back to the album, knowing that each song is a tribute to a woman influencing Walsh’s life, it would be easy to get into gossip. After all, who wouldn’t want to know who is who, especially that Burger Queen?

I really like the way the album came together under the female admiration concept. I found some old digital notes showing that I came up with Burger Queen as a concept in 2017 and I hadn’t written the rest of the songs yet. Like the other paeans on the album, it’s to a mythological idea of a woman. In the case of Burger Queen, she wins my heart through my stomach.

Turning an almost embarrassing question into a plea for veganism is a sign of Walsh’s smart mind: “[…] I couldn’t resist putting a recommendation about vegetarianism in there, as I’m not one to eat red meat every day. The song is partly a satirical comment on the unhealthy tastiness of fast food. I felt obligated to tip my hat to veganism, I love vegan cooking as much as anything else. To me it’s clearly more ethical, and if done right, you get all the nutrients one needs. Not to mention that with cultured meat becoming more affordable, there may soon be no reason to be cruel about dinner, even if you do prefer something’s flesh.

Flesh or not flesh? Not mentioning food, the character of Bianca seems to be virtual, as fleshless as she can be. Keith Walsh, as opposed to the main opinion, doesn’t shy away from AI: “I’m definitely optimistic about relationships with A.I. becoming more intimate, and sure, the potential to help with loneliness is promising. Though A.I. can’t really pass the Turing Test 100% , virtual interactions can certainly be satisfying. But then again, I enjoy vegan burgers as much as those made from cows!

However, Walsh adds: “I’d like to clarify, all the songs aren’t necessarily about women. ‘Thief of reputation’ is about a shadowy figure, pulling strings behind the scenes. Could be a man or woman. ‘Sz Blue’s isn’t really inspired by a woman either.

In the tradition of dance artists, Brick Bosso released a bunch of creative remixes of the album’s songs. Why suddenly? “It was Julian Shah-Tayler of The Singularity who kindly offered, last year, to remix a song (I chose ‘Dougie Draws Dirigibles’ off of ‘Brick.’ Now live on Bandcamp). After I finished ‘Bianca’ this Spring I was inspired to ask my musical comrades for the same favor, and have been thrilled with the results. Each one is unique and cool.

How about a remix by MindFree? “I haven’t thought about MindFree doing a remix, but that’s a good idea.”

You know what to expect anytime soon.

Let’s examine the album, track-by-track:              

Leonard Cohen’s freaks would wonder if “First Girl On The Moon”, the opener of the album, had any lyrical relation with the Canadian crooner’s “Master Song”. Obviously not: “That is such an interesting coincidence! I’m familiar with the tune, it’s hauntingly beautiful. But I never really paid that much attention to the lyrics, having only heard it twice, years ago. It’s funny how poetry bubbles up from the chasms of the mind.” (nb: check Leonard Cohen’s lyrics online and compare with Brick Bosso’s. The coincidence is rather funny)

“Sweet Scarlett” follows, with a strong Bowie feel, not only on the gated-drum arrangement, but also in the melody and the swirling piano, not far from what Rick Wakeman did on “Hunky Dory”.

“Oh, Macy!”, probably related to Walsh’s early love, has nice synth parts, sometimes brass, sometimes a “Strawberry Fields”-oriented Mellotron flute. And that great guitar solo!

Then comes the “Burger Queen”, with its light dub mood counterbalanced with a stadium-like chorus and funny voice effects.

But the definite highlight of the album is the moody, atmospheric “Sz Blues”, dreamy and dark, hard to define and great to get into its feel.

Walsh gets back to his rockier roots with the straight-ahead “Thief Of Reputation” with a captivating organ solo.

The aforementioned “Bianca” is described in a more typical electro-pop song in the vein of earlier Bosso work, while  “Unicorns And Fleas” wouldn’t have been out of place on an experimental Beach Boys record.

Between MindFree, Brick Bosso’s classic sound and the creative remixes, Keith Walsh expands his talents and you shouldn’t be surprised, while eating your vegan (or not) burger, that the Californian songwriter is invading your radio stations. Seducing AI Bianca’s and fleshed Macy’s.


Listen to and buy “Bianca”:

Brick Bosso’s discography on Bandcamp (including yours truly’s remix of “Burger Queen”):

Brick Bosso Official:


Eric Endo: