Remember when James Taylor hummed that we’ve “got a friend”? And all we’d have to do is call out, and a friend would be delivered? Welcome Joseph Brooks Organ — a singer/songwriter, troubadour, and softly sweeping lyrical mastermind who could readily be James Taylor making-good on that 70’s promise.
Originally hailing from London, Ontario, but calling Toronto home for nearly the past two decades, this multi-instrumentalist’s charming indie-acoustic vibe is a quaint canvass of love and all its wonderment on his latest offering, Lovelorn.
The sophomore album is a follow-up to Organ’s debut EP Tape from 2013. As he recalls, “[This album was] recorded by nine different musicians all in their own apartments due to self-isolation protocol,” adding, “Lovelorn is a product of the pandemic, and a testament to the will to go on creating whatever the impediments to that process may be.”
A collection of love songs, chronicling the protagonist’s struggles, triumphs, steadiness and readiness, Lovelorn qualifies the notion of love and why it’s worth falling into at all. “The album has a narrative arc which describes the loss of love in its many stages,” explains Organ. “The title track ‘Lovelorn’ depicts the subject now completely removed from love, watching other couples feel it, but unable to access the feeling himself.
“The final track ‘Nosong’ has our narrator reconciled to his loss of love, albeit in a complicated sort of way. Zooming out, he becomes philosophical in his asceticism, pondering the abstract and illusory nature of concepts like love and life.”
Lovelorn leads off with “Make Sure You Know,” a simply sophisticated ode of honesty. Our hero acknowledges that “love can sometimes slip away,” despite not understanding why.
But armed with this awareness, he promises his lover that she will be the first one to be made aware so they can walk away peacefully and without anger, resentment, or hurt. Organ’s finds magic in delivering a song so rich in beautiful, seemingly happy melodies, but yet, so alarmingly sad in its sorrowful lyrics. This fair weather approach to the reality of potential heartbreak is equally blunt as it is subtle in its hope that circumventing hurt is at all possible.
Organ’s folk-crafted acoustic record comes complete with a whistled bridge that ties the entire track together. It offers a semblance of acceptance – our narrator willfully, if not dutifully reminds us that there is a darker side of love we all prefer to ignore, but he refuses. And he’s going to accept the risk of falling out of love with grace and dignity.
Lovelorn is a journey through the lens of a lover’s emotional highs, and desperate lows. His fears, and his losses. Candidly sung truths that pepper the story with authenticity and ability to connect with listeners. Through experience and emotion, Joseph Brooks Organ makes sure to know how to reach into the depth of your soul and display it endearingly through song.