There’s a wall, in your family home. It’s next to an old stairway that leads to an attic you never go into, but the wall is alive and lined with photos. Each one a cherished memory locked in time, waiting to be brought down, dusted off and held in the hand of a storyteller intimately connected with the finer points of every detail. Caroline Marie Brooks is just such a storyteller. On Everything at the Same Time, the first solo outing from ⅓ of Canadian harmony trio Good Lovelies, Brooks walks you through a wall of stories, taking moments from her life down and carefully recounting the feeling of the sun and the wind in the trees from days past and present.
Over 11 tracks, Brooks leads a vivid journey through feelings familiar to our hearts. Gentle guitar work laying a backdrop for Brooks’ sweetly divine vocals, densely layered with wurlitzers and mandolins and steel guitars to evoke feelings of memories both lost and found. Lead single “Vitamin” evokes a sun-drenched nostalgia, albeit a nostalgia happening right in front of you, one that you can live in and hold onto. Even at the end of the record, with a cover of Roger Miller’s classic “Oo-De-Lally” (from Disney’s Robin Hood), Caroline Marie Brooks has crafted an album that feels wholly familiar and distinctly her own - an instant classic waiting to be discovered and have its stories told.
Songs like “Night Drive'' draw up the feeling of a night's journey alone, just your headlights and the sky illuminating your endless path. “I can’t always be there” is a love letter to a child growing up before your very eyes and wanting to hold on to the memories of every perfect day. Even the instrumental “Song for Fred” is evocative of a feeling, a memory. It’s a place that we draw from in the moments when the future feels insurmountable.
Everything at the Same Time is a pandemic record only in time, recorded in the midst of an age when sometimes living through our memories of easier days may be all that we have. It asks only that we live and be present in the moment and to remember that though the days are long, the years are all too short. The inevitability of change looms in the distant, and Caroline Marie Brooks challenges you to hold on to the gift of the times we are in.
Recorded and co-produced with Jim Bryson at his Fixed Hinge studio (Stittsville Ontario), Dream Date studio (Toronto ON) and across southern Ontario at many of the featured musicians’ homes. Everything at the Same Time will be released on September 24, 2021 on CD, Vinyl, and all digital platforms.
Niko Stratis, July 2021