Briston Maroney encapsulates all of his deepest emotions in his latest record Ultrapure, out today September 22, 2023.
The title of the album is a reflection on Maroney’s memories and the same goes for the underlying theme of the thirteen tracks. He says “My favorite moments in the human experience are ones that you don’t even realize have started, but feel so deeply when you realize they’ve ended. I refer to these as ‘Ultrapure’ moments.” As an album it is meant to not only deep dive into the brain of the singer but for listeners to ponder on what their own ultrapure moments are.
A unique aspect of the record is the fact that all of the instruments were played by Maroney himself. That is something that his collaborators Daniel Tashan and Konrad Snyder challenged him to do knowing that he has never performed on the drums or on piano in front of anyone. It makes the album that much more personal and shows how much plasticity he has in the craft. The instrumentation is strong, but what makes Briston Maroney’s music especially impactful is his heartfelt delicate voice. In tracks like “Sunshine,” the vocals seem to be layered which creates these beautiful harmonies that are velvety yet in some ways haunting. His voice naturally is very clean so what you hear on the record is identical to the live performances.
“Waking up early, don’t know what for. I never knew when you’d walk through the door. Still can remember, more than I’d hope” is how the title track begins. Combining with the stripped down instrumentation of just an acoustic guitar, he touchingly opens up about his painful past. At various moments in the song, from the middle onwards, a banjo can be heard. It is played in the sections where Maroney sings about pouring positivity upon his grief, so the typically upbeat instrument stands as hopeful light for his future. The track makes you realize that we can’t let go of our memories, but we can learn and grow from them. In regards to the writing process the artist stated that “It was one of those rare artist’s dream songs that took just 15 minutes to spill out after weeks of writing what were, essentially, a lot of shitty songs.”
One of the more upbeat songs “Chaos Party” will be a crowd pleaser on upcoming tours. Unlike the title track, this one highlights shaking off the pain and stepping forward with a fresh foot. The serious subject matter in Briston Maroney’s work can be difficult for some listeners to process, so having a song that people can get up and dance to makes this record versatile for the masses. Furthermore, it proves that feelings are not stagnant and that even a single core memory can bring up a multitude of emotions. Recently, Briston Maroney has been posting the acoustic versions of some of the new music off of the album. “Detonator” which has a very catchy optimistic chorus is transformed into a slow touching piece this way. Like stated before, Maroney’s desire to reinvent himself by pushing his own boundaries and trying new things is the ingredient that makes his work shine.
Songs such as “Skyline” and “Sink Swim” are going to resonate with fans of Christian Lee Hutson and Phoebe Bridgers; similar to these artists the tracks are acoustically driven and the symbolism behind the lyrics goes much further than what appears on the surface. “Lately I have been missing all my old friends” is followed by “like I had them to begin with” which illustrates Maroney’s clever word play in “Sync Swim.” Throughout the album as a whole there are no lines that were randomly thrown in. The story telling above all is the biggest thing to take away from this project.
If you want to hear Briston Maroney’s new music live, he will be performing acoustic sets at some local record stores across the United States throughout September and October. The intimate setting with the stripped down versions of his songs will bring a personal touch that you won’t get to experience otherwise.
Get more information on Briston’s website here & view the tour dates below!