“A lighthouse out in the storm”: The Brook & The Bluff Dive “Headfirst” into a New Era As ‘Bluebeard’ Approaches

The Brook & The Bluff © Noah Tidmore
The Brook & The Bluff © Noah Tidmore
A smoldering, soulful indie folk seduction, “Headfirst” soothes the ears and stirs the heart as The Brook & the Bluff inspire us to go all-in on life.
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“Headfirst” – The Brook & The Bluff

They’re still the same soul-soaked band from Birmingham, Alabama, but The Brook & the Bluff are evolving.

And they’re taking us with them on what’s shaping up to be a truly exhilarating journey. Three studio albums and nearly ten years into their career, the genre-bending indie band have never sounded better – or more unique. Their upcoming fourth LP blends elements of soul and folk with jazz, funk, Americana, rock, and more, proving once more The Brook & the Bluff’s stature as a modern melting pot of style and substance.

And while every song on the highly-anticipated Bluebeard promises to reveal a striking palette of colors and contours for fans new and old to indulge in, it’s the band’s latest single – a softer, more subtle tune – that hits particularly hard these days. A smoldering, soulful indie folk seduction, “Headfirst” soothes the ears and stirs the heart as The Brook & the Bluff inspire us to go all-in on life; to live unapologetically and hold nothing back.

Bluebeard - The Brook & The Bluff
Bluebeard – The Brook & The Bluff
I know you want it,
it’s not the first time.
Thought you had it,
it’s not the last line.
Picked up the pieces
that had fell on the way,
Long arms to gather
what your hands couldn’t take.
Two sets of bones,
Not loving alone.

Released August 23, 2023 via AWAL, “Headfirst” is the breathtaking third single taken off The Brook & the Bluff’s forthcoming third album, Bluebeard (out September 15, 2023). A visceral and vulnerable reflection on who we are and how we spend our days, it’s the latest in a recent series of songs that showcase everything there is to love about the Birmingham-born, Nashville-based band.

The Brook & The Bluff © Noah Tidmore
The Brook & The Bluff © Noah Tidmore

The five-piece comprised of Joseph Settine, brothers Kevin and John Canada, Fred Lankford, and Alec Bolton, The Brook & The Bluff have found considerable success (to the tune of 1.1 million months streams) throughout North America and beyond, with fans fawning over their stunning vocal harmonies, their intimate, nuanced lyricism, and their utterly enchanting, inescapably catchy melodies. Bluebeard feels like the natural evolution for a band that has never seemed content with standing still or staying the same; while recent singles like “Long Limbs” and “Hiding,” considerably expand their “sonic” breadth, the songs are still built on the same foundations that have guided The Brook & the Bluff throughout the past decade.

“Headfirst,” meanwhile, is its own singular beast. Rising up from an atmospheric darkness, the ethereal, brooding slow-burner is unique in the band’s catalog, finding them experimenting with effected vocals and processed guitars – and to great success, at that. Using Bon Iver’s 22, A Million as a template of sorts, they created what they describe as “a phantom materializing on the Earth’s surface” – all within the context of song about “finding yourself by finding someone else.”

We hear that self-discovery come to life in the song’s achingly beautiful chorus, in which frontman Joseph Settine offers a heartfelt declaration and emotional climax all at once:

And I wanted to know you,
and I wanted to show you
what I’m talking about

all I have to say,
there’s no easy way out
It’s just headfirst
The Brook & The Bluff © Noah Tidmore
The Brook & The Bluff © Noah Tidmore

“‘Headfirst’ is one of the most special songs we have made together as a band,” Settine tells Atwood Magazine. “We started it in 2016, with just the guitar loop and melody in a one bedroom apartment. I’m pretty sure we were still a duo at that point. We always knew where we wanted to take it, with all of the vocal processing and stuff like that, we just needed to find the right time to listen to the message of our own tune and dive in.”

“Everything you need to know about ‘Headfirst’ is really just in the title of the song,” he adds. “It came from a time in my life where I was trying to win over someone, and I felt a little short changed because the only thing holding us back was hesitation. The only way you will know if something is going to work out is by diving in headfirst.”

all along, from the moment that we were on,
I was drawn
a lighthouse out in the storm.
Not loving alone.
And I wanted to know you,
I wanted to show you what I’m talking about.
All I have to say – it’s no easy way out, it’s just
headfirst. (i can’t see why)
headfirst. (i can’t see why)
The Brook & The Bluff © Noah Tidmore
The Brook & The Bluff © Noah Tidmore

“Headfirst” – and indeed, all of Bluebeard – is the kind of music that shell-shocks you on first listen, but opens new doors the deeper you go. There’s no doubt about the The Brook & the Bluff’s sheer prowess at this juncture in time; they have created what promises to be one of 2023’s best albums, and they’ve done it all while remaining true to themselves and their soul-stirring artistry.

The Brook & the Bluff are set to embark on a grueling two-month headline tour this fall, starting in Phoenix, Arizona in mid-September and ending in Austin, Texas in mid-November. Purchase tickets here, and be sure to stream Bluebeard upon its release on September 15!

— —

:: stream/purchase Headfirst here ::
:: connect with The Brook & the Bluff here ::
“Headfirst” – The Brook & The Bluff

2023 Tour Dates

The Brook & the Bluff

:: tickets & more info here ::
9/18 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
9/20 – Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up
9/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda
9/22 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
9/25 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
9/26 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
9/27 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
9/30 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
10/1 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
10/3 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
10/5 – St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall
10/6 – Indianapolis, IN @ Hi-Fi Annex
10/7 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
10/8 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts
10/10 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
10/11 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
10/13 – Detroit, MI @ The Shelter
10/14 – Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground
10/15 – Montreal, QC @ Petit Campus
10/17 – Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom
10/19 – Philadelphia, PA @ TLA
10/20 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
10/21 – Washington, DC @ 930 Club
10/22 – Boston, MA @ Royale
10/25 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
10/26 – Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre
10/27 – Charlotte, NC @ The Underground
10/28 – Atlanta, GA @ The Eastern
10/30 – Columbia, SC @ The Senate
11/2 – Birmingham, AL @ Avondale Brewing Co
11/3 – Nashville, TN @ Brooklyn Bowl
11/5 – Knoxville, TN @ Mill & Mine
11/8 – New Orleans, LA @ Toulouse Theatre
11/9 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues
11/10 – Dallas, TX @ The Studio at the Factory
11/11 – Austin, TX @ Scoot Inn

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Bluebeard - The Brook & The Bluff

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