Cleveland singer-songwriter Alan Brooks is a storyteller for those small, seemingly meaningless
moments between the bigger ones. On his 4-track EP, “Getting from A to B,” Brooks soulfully
illustrates glimpses of everyday life, like the small talk while waiting for a train, the simple exchange
of a phone number and looking up at the city lights on the walk to an important place. He gives purpose
to these fragments of memories with tender but bright arrangements and vocals.
Brooks’ voice sounds like John Legend through a Corinne Bailey Rae filter with smooth, laid back
melodies that are unassuming but pleasant. His first recording with a full band, the instrumentation
on “Getting from A to B” is fresh and well orchestrated. Each track is simple, upbeat and sets a
summery sort of mood that seems to coat the listener in warm, sonic sunlight.
Much like one of Brooks’ influences, The Roots, he tosses in a little careful but casual rapping
alongside the full-band arrangements on“Further North.” His rhymes are full of detail and paint visual
pictures of city cafes and subways.
He calls the album “smart pop for the soulfully inclines and vintage inspired,” and notes that a
large window in a Cleveland vintage music shop inspired him with the freedom to create his songs.
The window exposed the shop’s wall of acoustic guitars and forced Brooks to let others watch him
play from a distance while he caught a glimpse of their lives outside at the same time. This was the
inspiration behind the themes in “Getting from A to B.”
The songs were recorded in Cleveland’s Elevation Studio with sound engineer Jake Fader who, along
with Brooks, provided the album’s instrumentation. Brooks can be seen playing his breezy, soulful
tunes at the Lakewood Music Festival at Mahall’s July 28.