Think of Brody Thomas as a 21st century beat poet. He’s thoughtful, vulnerable, eternally on-edge and a little paranoid. As he moves through our world, he picks up today’s fears and phobias, echoing them back to us like a reinforcing mantra.
Everything good that happens to me, is because of me
Everything bad that happens to me, is because of me
Because of these facts, I know that I have what I have
Because I’m supposed to have that
Nothing happens just to happen.
Have you ever thought that we create what we see?
And we see and we dream like deja vu,
except that the place you’ve been before only exists
because of you. – Wanted
This spoken word contemplation floats the idea that our thoughts create our reality. If that’s true, at the very least, we’d better be damn careful of the thoughts inside our heads. The idea of self-creation, if you stop to think about it a bit, can be either empowering or terrifying.
Brody Thomas, a Boston-based musician, has been at it for just five years. Everything is potent metaphor, including the title song of this EP, “Jellyfish Stings & Sunburns.” It’s just life, really — those things that bite hard and other things that stay with you, permanently coloring your world view. The minimalist instrumentation points out the stark beauty and truth of Thomas’s lyrics, which are like religiously chanted meditations. Little snippets bubble up like crystal gems.
I wish that I was small enough to fit under your breath,
’cause then I’d hear all of the whispers
and I’d know just what you meant
when you said you’re fine.
I’m realizing now that if I’m begging for metal
then I’ve got to love the rust.
“Hoodie” is about learning to wait, accepting imperfection, embracing change, one’s thoughts versus one’s projected self, crippling insecurity and self-loathing, all expressed through the poignant metaphor of a beloved blue hoodie that doesn’t fit quite right.
In “Bugs,” our fearless protagonist steps outside of himself to wonder about the personal life of that insignificant little bug we just mindlessly squashed.
“Rain” contemplates the loss of one of our senses (the sense of taste, for example), and through this mental exercise, another observation pops up –
Everything I want, wants something in return
Do we forget one thing for every new thing that we learn?
“Cancelled” likens a life to a television show that’s had “a few good seasons and cameos,” but is now possibly past its prime. The title song, “Jellyfish Stings & Sunburns” metaphorically speaks of being transparent and vulnerable like the sea creature, with the sun as a source of (spiritual?) nourishment —
When the sun stops giving you light, the darkness starts to feel alright.
This deceptively simple 7-song collection of contemplations poses many intriquing questions — the kinds of questions that can keep you up at night. Thanks, man. It also feels like the tip of a much larger iceberg.