Interview – Joseph Brooks Organ

Canadian singer-songwriter Joseph Brooks Organ has released his brand new album, Lovelorn.

From start to finish, lush arrangements reinforce Organ’s lyrical storytelling, field guiding listeners along a narrative path through all the stages — for better or worse — of love ultimately lost.

Mixed, mastered, and featuring Damian Dobrowolski (Re:Verse, Tribe Called Red), the release also showcases the sonic stylings of Zach Bines (Weaves, Tim Baker, Sarah Harmer), Michael Tobin (L’Dor V’Dor, I Lost My Mind), Anh Phung (Hairbrain, Tullstars), Daniel Pencer (Andy Shauf), Taylor McGee (Musica Reflecta), Andrea Stewart (Collectif 9), and Spencer Cole (Weaves).

“This album was recorded in nine separate locations by nine different musicians,” Organ explains, noting the constraints in place due to COVID-19. “Eight of the musicians recorded in their apartments; Michael recorded his vocals for ‘Best So’ under a blanket in Toronto’s High Park, much to the consternation of a dog that can be heard barking.

“Lovelorn is the product of endless emails back and forth with scores, recordings, and edits — most of which would’ve been unnecessary were we to have simply rehearsed and recorded in-studio together in the traditional way,” he continues. “The result is something different…

“In a way, it’s more special than if we had done it the conventional way. It feels very much to us like a testament to the power of the ‘will to create’ — that it transcends the limitations placed upon us by even global pandemic-levels of extenuating circumstances.

“Even during such complicated and difficult times, we had to make this record — and we did!”

Check out the album below, and find out more about Joseph Brooks Organ via our mini-interview.

First off, care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi! My name’s Joseph Brooks Organ. I’m an avid ice-skater, reader, lover of sunshine, bicycle rides, and writing songs of all different types.

Tell us about the recording process behind “Lovelorn”?

My album Lovelorn was recorded by nine different musicians in nine different locations. This was due to the restrictions imposed upon us by COVID. Although this approach to recording had its challenges, it also made the record a whole new thing. Not only was it a testament to our determination to get this thing recorded by whatever means necessary, regardless of incidental limitations, it mirrored the isolation and loneliness felt in many parts of the album. So in this way, the process was wholly fitting.

What was the highlight of 2020?

The highlight of 2020 was definitely releasing this album. Of course, we were unable to do an IRL release party, so we had one using YouTube Premiere instead, with a Zoom afterparty. Nothing could have been more of the time, but also nothing could have been more beautiful as far as I’m concerned. It was way fun to have the running commentary in the live comments section, and it was really cool to hear all the different ways that people experienced listening to it in all their respective places and contexts. This was a unique benefit of doing a release online. Everyone experiencing the same thing at the same time in different time zones surrounded by different people and atmospheres. For example, my brother listened to the album at the same time as me and everyone else while lying on his bed with his eleven-year-old son. How beautiful is that! That’s just something that can’t happen at a live show!

What do you hope to accomplish in your career in 2021?

In 2021 I want to get this record into as many ears as possible and share what I feel is an honest expression of myself and an excellent representation of the awe-inspiring skill and sensitivity of all the musicians on this album. Other than that, I want to write more music, read lots of books, get lots of active outdoor time in, and start working on the next record!

Is there anyone out there you’d like to collaborate with in the future?

My favourite people to collaborate with are my friends. People right here in Toronto that I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with before, and with whom I hope to have many more opportunities to do so! Spencer Cole (Weaves), Zach Bines (Weaves, Tim Baker, Sarah Harmer), Alex Samaras (Tryal), Robin Dann (Bernice), and Thom Gill (THOMAS). These are a few people that I really admire and would love to get to work with again.

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