God bless Brennan Galley—a ukulele toting, alt-pop songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Cambridge. Galley performs under the name Burning Gallery. Galley is a community-oriented musician who often shares his affinity for sound design and songwriting. His latest full-length album is entitled “Burgundy”. The album takes us on a very weird, tour-bus trip around a cartoon world —our own.
In a fashion almost too sincere, Galley’s lyrics are poetically distilled accounts of our banal existence. The melancholic subject matter of which are juxtaposed against whimsical uplifting melodies plucked on guitar, bass, ukulele and mandolin. Galley tackles keeping lyrical density nicely balanced with intricate musical arrangements.
Also using electronic bass, samples and beats, Galley merges two unlikely sonic worlds reminiscent of Tiny Tim mixed with 90’s-era Depeche Mode. Though this album is generally well-mannered, some cheeky moments are highlighted when Galley encounters an erotic form in a forest somewhere. The accompanying guitars and warbling bass carry reverberated synthesizers into a sultry refrain.
Galley makes a theme of using contrast to separate the tone of his lyrics from the actual sound of the music. At times being thematically satirical, but then playful and innocent using major chord progression and jaunty riffs. Galley’s breathy affirmations repeat the phrase “People have power all along,”over a funk-tinged groove. Brazen, clunky drums are paired with succinct precisely plucked guitar riffs in the following section, quickly changing the mood of the album. Implementing a pattern of stark contrast throughout the record further emphasizes when subject matter and sound are to conform. The moment when Galley personally thanks you, the listener, for going on this musical adventure with him is delivered with undeniable sincerity and innocence. The sincerity is all the more appreciated after having experienced the formidable satire that is Burning Gallery.
Galleys forthright and playful record is delivered with both kindness and despair. The music and lyrics are mere a guise for a well-hidden message of positivity.