John Joseph Brill_FI

Release: John Joseph Brill Announces Debut EP Via Killing Moon


It’s good to talk. It’s even better to talk when you’ve got a chip on your shoulder. A monkey on your back. A millstone on your neck. Or, if we’re dispensing with the metaphorical shash, if one is lucky enough to have an personal council of those they can trust enough with intimate details of their individual circumstances, dispersing said-intimate details usually makes the difference between that individual crashing and/or burning, or turning into one of those persevering types. It is all too common, particularly within the myriad confines of music and/or it’s business, that the population relentlessly keeps up the perpetual image of success, in order to be perceived as successful – which in itself usually alludes to being rich, both in monetary and soulfully-enriching terms, and probably a few others as well – and whether or not that is truly the case seems to become less and less relevant in comparison. So it really does take quite a character to be able to bear one’s soul, with all its beautiful contours and outwardly-damaged outlines (that’ll be what is known as the human condition folks – walking contradictions, etc), to anyone outside of one’s personal council and indeed to the world at large. Further, it is even rarer for someone to reduce that to musical form whilst retaining it’s sincerety, for others to relate to and, hopefully, enjoy. When we first met John Joseph Brill outside the Defector’s Weld a year-and-a-bit ago, we were in our own state of denial in terms of our own sense of self-esteem, not unlike the fashion stipulated above. We were drunk. We were drunk pretty much all the time, which wasn’t good. So was he to be fair. One (drunken) email exchange and several months later, we took receipt of a track from the man called Muscle & Bone. Whilst the subject matter was about something very different from our own personal interpretation (we like to make pretty much everything about ourselves), we did feel there was some universal application to the song’s substantive lyric “just because I don’t cry doesn’t mean I don’t grieve” to both ourselves and our ostensible peer group. Perhaps this was truly the start of our 30’s; in the sense that we started to acknowledge and finally deal with some of the things that had been eating away at us for some time rather than dig our heels in and hoping for the best for the sake of keeping up appearances – having spent some time truly befriending the guy and listening to what he had to say about a number of different things (he’s a smart guy by the way – if you’re lucky enough to land a conversation with him, he’ll fuck you up with some truth. Believe that) we feel truly indebted him for counselling us through some big changes with an understanding ear and free of judgement. It is therefore rather fitting that our first, proper release of 2015 – in the wake of our latest family bereavement – is for John Joseph Brill and his incredible debut EP entitled Pieces. It is out on Monday 23rd February. We love you, man. We got there in the end. Enough of our shash. Deal with this press release.

John Joseph Brill 4 copy


“Brilliant stuff… [Muscle & Bone has] had such a strong reaction”

BBC Introducing


“Muscle & Bone’s dark subject matter is met with sharp contrast as Brill’s brandy-warm baritone lends a sense of triumphalism to proceedings”


Son of a music producer/A&R and a pop singer, you could say John Joseph Brill’s very existence was forged in the music business, but it wasn’t until he was a teenager he took his own first steps into music: “I concentrated on lyrics, more or less exclusively. It wasn’t until the age of 16 that I picked up a guitar and actually put music to my sophomoric sixth-form poetry”. While the majority of his peers were into passing fads, Brill would find himself in isolation listening to Neil Young records.

After dropping out of university, John Joseph Brill was invited to front London doom-folk outfit Burning Beard and soon found himself part of the West London musical hub populated by the likes of The Staves, Laura Marling and Bear’s Den. It was around then he penned the song Pieces, which he describes as being “about an individual who starts off with such staunch principles – politically, morally, whatever, in a very idealistic sense – only to later betray those essentially for the sake of making money”.


Pieces proved to be the catalyst for a kind of creative awakening, a new-found ability to articulate things never previously said aloud. Muscle & Bone, live favourite Golden Kids and ghostly closer Sleeping Beast followed quickly, and alongside the title track these three songs – recorded with rising producer Kristofer Harris (Annie Eve, Smoke Fairies, Jay Brown, Bear’s Den, Story Books) – complete the Pieces EP.

A brutal study of the agony of making oneself presentable to the world-at-large whilst simultaneously dealing with life-changing personal issues, Muscle & Bone surfaced in 2014 and since then John Joseph Brill has been picking up praise from the online community. He is already being championed by BBC Introducing, who cite the track as having one of the strongest reactions in recent memory from their listenership.

Pieces EP is released digitally worldwide on 23rd February 2015 via Killing Moon.


1. Pieces

2. Muscle & Bone

3. Golden Kids

4. Sleeping Beast


Wednesday 21st January: Sebright Arms, London (supporting Luluc)

Wednesday 25th February: The Islington, London (EP launch show)

Friday 27th February: The Boater, Bath





Post a new comment