Pennan Brae goes widescreen with his scenic new summer blockbuster album Cinema — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
The prolific Vancouver singer-songwriter and multi-talented multi-tasker’s ninth studio offering (and second full-length release so far this year) finds him augmenting his already-impressive sonic arsenal with a vast array of new sounds and instruments, including harp, violin, cello, pedal steel and mandolin. Not surprisingly, his stylistic range has expanded accordingly to encompass a wide range of pop, rock, blues and country elements and influences from the ’60s to the ’80s. The result: A compelling, stylishly dramatic offering that has all the depth, range and entertainment value of a big-budget Hollywood feature. With any luck, we won’t have to wait long for a sequel.
Brae’s filmic fascination is no coincidence. Beteween 2018 and 2020, he was busy writing and crafting the soundtracks for two feature-length films: The Astronot and 2 Below 0. These films participated in over 100 film festivals with The Astronot now streaming on Amazon Prime. “I miss filmmaking,” remarks Pennan, “and I’d love to get back into it, but now is not the time for that. Perhaps late in 2021 or 2022, we can get back at it.”
For the time being, Pennan has fed his moviemaking jones by working remotely with filmmaker Tim Cash on a number of lyric music videos for his YouTube channel. “These music videos have been really fun to make,” he exclaims. “It’s wonderful researching old film footage and; we can create them safely in the current environment. I’ve fallen in love with the medium. It’s really fun to clearly share the lyrical content of the songs.”
The 11-song Cinema — the followup to this spring’s Lit — was recorded at Blue Light Studio in Vancouver with producer Kaj Falch-Nielsen, and mixed by producer Kirk Kelsey (The Smashing Pumpkins), who also created masterful remixes that close out the album. Weed & Whiskey Women (Distilled Mix) is a ’90s-influenced pop-rock track with a catchy percussion arrangement and gorgeous backup vocals from singer Rebecca Kania. A Nightmare (Full Moon Mix) is a smooth time portal to the 1980s with an array of colourful synthesizers interwoven within an infectious beat. Mississippi Love Song (Riverside Mix) converts the original piano-rock ballad into a throbbing alien-electronica space ode.