Today’s Song: Brothers Moving’s “Can’t Deny” is the Soundtrack to a Ruminator’s Journey from Plod to Patter

Brothers Moving © Brothers Moving
Brothers Moving lighten the way for all who pass by with “Can’t Deny”

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Danish bluesy, roots-rock band Brothers Moving is filled with the kind of explosive energy that cannot be contained.  While they have performed on stages around the world, Brothers Moving need not rely on effects, microphones or even acoustics to spread their sparks throughout a crowd. Made up of actual siblings: Esben (lead vocals, guitar, kazoo), Aske (lead vocals, lead guitar) and Simon Knoblauch (cajón) and brother in arms Nils Sørensen (bass), Brothers Moving are buskers through and through. Give them some acoustic instruments (like the kazoo), a street corner and some fresh air and they will draw an enthusiastic crowd.  A crowd that will inevitably beg to buy CDs.  Brothers Moving’s enthusiasm is the best kind of contagious.

While this quartet was born in Denmark, they got their start on the bustling streets of NYC.  In 2009, a year after the inception of the band, Brothers Moving passed auditions for the MUNY (Music Under New York) membership.  With this membership they were invited to offer joyful soul sounds to the plodding feet of pedestrians moving through NYC’s gridlocked subway stations, concrete jungles and squares.

To date, Brothers Moving have recorded 2 albums.  Their debut, eponymous and self-released album (2012) was followed most recently by sophomore offering Autonomy (January 2018). They’ve exploded on stages around the world, from NYC’s Rockwood Music Hall to the dizzying peaks of Grand Canyon National Park and on to Moscow’s night club scene, creating a fervent and loving fan base everywhere they’re laid down their hat. They have the kind of fans that enthusiastically take part in call and response scat-a-longs and inevitably scream “moooooore” at the end of every set. Brothers Moving is beloved to music lovers, outdoor shoppers and pretty much everyone who has been lucky enough to wander past their street set worldwide.  

Watch: “Can’t Deny” – Brothers Moving

Brothers Moving identify themselves as buskers, an age old community of street performers who require true talent in order to be recognized. Mariachis, troubadours, Gypsies, buskers and medicine men have brought their respective art forms to the streets and/or barns of towns and cities around the world for centuries. While their crafts and musical styles varied by act, time and town, they were in fact all selling the same thing: good vibes. Those good vibes begot more good vibes and soon, these successful projectors of happiness were creating throngs of joy-filled townspeople. As happiness is the most powerful stimulant, giddy folks would spin off and become patrons in search of a souvenir with which to remember their joy-filled night. Proving that happiness sells. 

Funny thing is: we humans need happiness to be slightly salted, mixed with the melancholic and balanced with perspective. For example: the stunning beauty of a sunny afternoon is always more miraculous after a rainy morning. That in mind, the same holds true for a joy filled performance. Upbeat music stirred with some soul searching lyrics gives the heart someone to dance with while the mind has ideas to consider and inspiration to feel. It’s the perfect cocktail as, real life experience challenges as much as it satisfies.

Which brings us to one of Brothers Moving’s most recent singles. Though they’ve been playing “Can’t Deny” on street corners and stairwells for some time, the Brothers only recently recorded the song and officially released it on their latest album. As the opening track on Autonomy“Can’t Deny” is indeed a great way to introduce listeners to a body of work by Brothers Moving. The perfect concoction of a melancholic bass plod and quirky upstroke guitar pep, “Can’t Deny” is a microcosm of Brothers Moving’s soundscape.

Autonomy - Brothers Moving

Autonomy – Brothers Moving

When explored in nibbles, the lyrics of this song represent the waking hours of a ruminators day in chronological order.

When I wake up in the morning on the wrong side of my bed
I have a hard time sleeping
It hurts my head 

AM: An honest, private realization that the soul is experiencing unrest.

You can’t deny
What’s happening here is so sad, so sad
Take a look around you
What do you fear?
It’s so, so sad what’s happening here 

Noon: Indubitable outward declaration that there is something wrong. Followed by the continued, broader search for what is causing such discomfort.

So why color the day in the darkest colors,
When light leads the way to,
Wherever you go?
So, don’t be afraid to pursue your direction
And tear down the walls that prevents your,
Realization

PM: Stop, Sprechstimme. As the result of (a) day(s) spent soul searching, the ruminator (played by lead singer Aske) has contemplated themselves into their own life’s philosophy. This part of the song, in an almost spoken word style, is the sought after product of time spent in thought: Well-earned rules to live by. 

Hopefully, we’ll all be lucky enough to stroll by Brothers Moving as we flit and float about town. However, on the off chance that they are not performing in your local square today, never fear! Their first album, latest album, and a vast collection of street recorded videos are readily available at the click of the links below.

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Autonomy - Brothers Moving

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Ilana Kalish was a jazz fed baby, pop-synched child, emo-soaked teenager and indie-rocked coed. Between working at the friendly corner record store, singing in a garage (sometimes with a band) and sitting under trees while writing short fiction, Ilana also got her degrees in modern dance and creative writing from the University of MD in College Park. All of these adventures eventually resulted in www.skiptothis.com where she shares her adventures down the rabbit hole of the musiverse. A self-proclaimed neologista, Ilana is always dancing with words to music, usually while drinking coffee and smirking. As a writer for Atwood Magazine, Ilana hopes to make you smile and nod happily with her whimsy and impeccable (smirk) taste in music.