There’s something unorthodox about the indie-pop songs of singer/songwriter and full-time nomad BRETT NEWSKI. Yet, underneath the 3-minute songs, 4-note melodies and odd ball lyrics lie eyes that have seen things – from asking “Would you like fries with that” to touring tirelessly across Europe in a car called (unironically) “Chuck Ragan the Car”, to dodging komodo dragons while trying to write his latest independently released album LAND, AIR, SEA, GARAGE (release date: November 1, 2016). And to kick off the release of this record, he’s hitting the road, including a handful of dates joining Violent Femmes on the West Coast. (dates below)
Instead of charging at the music industry through the front door with a label deal (or with a bulldozer on a reality competition show), he toughed it out, avoiding the “American Dream” at all costs. Sans label, instrument endorsements, or even a heavy-hitting manager who could hook him up with dream collaborations, like McCartney or Dylan, Newski instead took to the road with a couple of bucks and became a nomad. He found inspiration (and paid gigs) in Vietnam, South Africa, Germany, and (gasp) Wisconsin to write this album, Land, Air, Sea, Garage – his second. “The album is about diving into the world with no safety net and landing on your feet,” he says.
Kicking off with the power-pop team sing-a-long of “Garage” with its la-la-la’s ringing out like an outtake from an early Matthew Sweet record, Land, Air, Sea, Garage is rife with pop gems that posit themselves deep and fast. From the acoustic twang of “Mind At Large” to the placid ballad “I Won’t Die A Nun” to singalong of “Bending Spoons & Skipping Prayers” to the contemplative closer “While The World Outside Dissolves”, the album showcases Newski’s impeccable ability to “anchor songs with super catchy melodies and melancholy lyrics with subtle wit” (as Guitar World says quite accurately), making common press comparisons to the likes of Frank Turner, Weezer, Jonathan Richman, Elliot Smith and Mountain Goats not too far out of the ordinary.
A creatively prolific artist who dabbles not only in music and touring but in amateur filmmaking as well, Newski and his tour manager “The Danimal” have created a YouTube web series called “Crusty Adventures” which documents the dark underbelly of touring and the strange events that unfold between gigs, including tales of blackmail in Germany, flaming brake rotors down a mountainside in Norway, and soberingly, the terrorism in Brussels during the wake of the Paris attacks.
In addition to filmmaking, he also spent some time in Saigon, writing jingles for television campaigns. These jingles included a massively successful commercial for tampons, which earned him the esteemed title “The Vagina King of Vietnam” by his creative director.
Land, Air, Sea, Garage was recorded at a surf camp in (literally) the Sri Lankan jungle (where it wasn’t uncommon for him to glance out the window of his hut and spot a komodo dragon foraging for its next meal) and at the equally exotic locale of Madison, Wisconsin. It was produced by Brett Newski and The Danimal except “Mind At Large” which was produced by Victor Delorenzo of Violent Femmes and will be released in the U.S. on November 1, 2016.
Land Air Sea Garage - US: 21 Oct Pomona, CA Fox Theater w/ Violent Femmes 23 Oct San Diego, CA Observatory North Park w/ Violent Femmes 24 Oct Ventura, CA Ventura Theatre w/ Violent Femmes 03 Nov Racine, WI George’s Tavern 04 Nov Madison, WI The Frequency 05 Nov Milwaukee, WI Cactus Club 06 Nov Chicago, IL Uncommon Ground 10 Nov Burnsville, MN The Garage 11 Nov Minneapolis, MN The Warming House 12 Nov Rock Island, IL Rozz Tox 13 Nov Des Moines, IA The Basement – Des Moines Social Club 14 Nov Cedar Falls, IA Cedar Valley House Concerts 15 Nov Cedar Rapids, IA Mad Modern 17 Nov Newport, KY Southgate House Revival Room 18 Nov Toledo, OH Fleetwood’s Taproom 19 Nov Pittsburgh, PA Black Forge Coffee House 20 Nov Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom 22 Nov Appleton, WI Stone Cellar Brewpub 23 Nov Bloomington, IL Castle Theatre 01 Dec New York, NY Rockwood Music Hall 03 Dec Boston, MA Cafe 939 04 Dec Philadelphia, PA Bourbon & Branch