Brendan McMahon About Joe

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Submitted by Thomas Patton, III

Lately some of my friends who aren’t in the music industry have been asking me why some music feels so much better suited to alternative formats of radio, i.e. college radio, specialty, satellite, online etc. over what standard commercial FM stations play, and for the most part I’ve been giving them the same answer: corporate nonsense. Well, I use a word other than nonsense but my publisher probably wouldn’t print it. The point is, through college radio and similarly independent means, blue collar, grassroots indie artists are given a platform to express heartfelt music that doesn’t fit into the big label boxes and marketing expectations created by an A&R department. Because it’s all about the music, not the endorsements or sponsored content that gets attached to it in the mainstream.

One of the best examples of a college radio superstar is Australian rocker Brendan McMahon, who is currently on a massive campaign to dominate both sides of the Pacific rim indie scene with his hot new extended play, About Joe, which is available everywhere music is sold this summer. McMahon might be a stranger to casual music fans who rarely venture left of the dial, but in the underground, he’s quickly becoming one of the most revered names and faces in the game, and making a strong case for breaking through to a more widespread audience and tackling all of the stresses and pressures that come with it.

Making records that don’t repeat history but respect the lessons that it has to share with us is an integral part of playing your role in the cultivation and extended development of pop culture. You can tell that McMahon really wanted to make sure that this latest EP was on par with the organic quality of his previous work and spent a lot of extra time tweaking the finer points to make this the full-color thriller that it is. “Home,” “Fall Down” and “Alive” were all being discussed among my fellow journalists and I, seemingly hours after their initial leak to the public, and that’s something that doesn’t happen a lot – if ever – in my office space. Is it the charming way that he dances around his words with the prose of a seasoned storyteller? Or maybe the way that he weaves his voice in between the giant riffs and crashing cymbals that make the soundscape of the record so hypnotically inviting and effortlessly memorable.

Whatever it is that makes his music just so amazingly addictive, the American audience is not only ready to take Brendan McMahon in as one of their own, but they’re ready to catapult him to a level of fame that he hasn’t previously known in his already well accomplished and hard-fought career in this business. Whether or not he remains true to his ethos will be seen as the future unfolds, but if he manages to maintain his indie street cred, he could easily be one of the biggest and most influential figures in his scene as we enter the next era in pop music for the globe as a whole.

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/brendanj-2/sets/about-joe