New Release Friday: Carl Broemel – Brokenhearted Jubilee

Posted by Greg on Apr 12, 2019 in Music |

While there have been a slew of new releases that have captured our attention (George Strait’s Honky Tonk Time Machine; Brooks and Dunn’s Reboot, Son Talk’s Stay Wild, to name a few), today’s spotlight is on multi-instrumentalist Carl Broemel’s latest EP, Brokenhearted Jubilee. Comprised of mostly covers, the ever-prolific Broemel teams up with longtime collaborator and drummer Eric Hopper on an album that is equal parts inspired, immaculate and indelible.

Opening with Paul McCartney’s oft-covered junk, Broemel’s version features lilting guitar-work and a sleepy and slithering veneer that is both wistful and elegaic. Composed more like a lullaby or prayer and aided by some sterling harmonica work from Mickey Raphael, it is another compelling compilation from the ever-prolific and always engaging maestro. Nick Drake’s classic “Pink Moon” is layered with a gorgeous bed of strings, lush piano and more stirring harmonica work from Raphael.

The album’s most interesting cut is “Longing For You,” a haunting and hypnotic effort that wobbles along with woozy guitar work and Broemel’s weary vocals. Written by an off-beat filmmaker named Palmer Rockey, the song is as obscure as it is optimistic. Drawing on the theme of the EP being a spring release, Broemel and Hopper tackle the spellbinding “In April,” a veering venture by Midwestern underdogs Sardina that features Broemel’s searing guitar lines, air-tight drumming and those unshakable vocals. The mid-tempo meditation meanders and moves with precision, grace and effortlessness.

The album’s only original is the introspective and restrained “Face of the Earth,” a bedroom pop effort that is simple, supple and satisfying. In some ways it acts as a bridge for the album’s final moments. Ron Sexsmith’s oft-covered “God Loves Everyone” is up next and Broemel’s interpretation is arguably one of the best we’ve ever heard. Brokenhearted Jubilee ends with “The Way It Will Be,” a Gillian Welch and David Rawlings cut that is given sterling treatment. Shifting effortlessly between haunting hypnotics and woozy guitar work. Like most of Broemel’s work the song drips with the beauty of hanging Spanish moss or climbing ivy and the song both dips and rises in such a way it feels downright otherworldly.

Broemel’s efficiency with each release is truly a marvel. Now four albums into a side-career, he continues to release work that is profound, timeless and downright near-perfect. Though April is not yet over, we’ll be hard-pressed to find an album this solidly executed. Though most know for his work with My Morning Jacket, his solo work is starting to speak volumes. One listen to Brokenhearted Jubilee is proof.

1 Comment

Eric Hopper
Apr 18, 2019 at 6:38 pm

Hi Greg, thanks so much for finding time for this EP. We had so much fun making it, I’m glad you like it. I created a visualizer for the entire EP and linked it here if you want to experience it that way. Thanks for calling out Mickey Raphael! I love that guy, it’s a thrill to have his amazing harmonica on these songs. My brother, Matt Hopper wrote and performed those amazing strings on Pink Moon.
Eric Hopper



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