And yet let’s not write off simplicity entirely (see Braids entry, above). When combined with honest emotion, a sense of history, and that other thing that makes you feel rather than just hear music (not sure what that thing is, however), a simple song can wow you in its own reserved way. SoCal singer/songwriter Brandon Thomas De La Cruz has a comfortable, Bright Eyes-ish thing going here, but maybe with a warmer, less mannered vibe than Mr. Oberst. At once plaintive and gracious, “My Heart Came to Rest” doesn’t innovate or blow the mind; so much of what’s good and true here nestles merely in the unpolished tremor of De La Cruz’s voice, and I mean both his singing and his writing voice. The song’s lyrical lynchpin can be found here, as he sings these unadorned lines:
We’re silent without thought
In the place where we’ve been brought
We both had so much to say
But now we’ve both forgot
Note the march of humble words: 20 of 23 of them are just one syllable, including an astounding (and cumulatively compelling) 19 in a row. Whether done consciously or unconsciously, the craft is impressive. The particular rhythm of how and where the word “both” appears, twice, and the rubber-lipped way the word bubbles from his mouth each time is worth a bit of extra attention.
“My Heart Came to Rest” is from De La Cruz’s seven-song garage-recorded debut Everything Is New, self-released digitally in November. You can buy it via Bandcamp, where one other song is also available for free.