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There’s something special about witnessing a musician mature. If you’ve been paying attention long enough you get to see them charmingly fumble about as they determine what their sound is, what compositions work, what instruments make up their toolset.

Temporary Towns is Midwest singer-songwriter (with a tinge of angst and emo) Brian Berger’s second full-length LP and is without a doubt a growth moment for the musician. Towns showcases Berger’s uncanny ability of making it feel like he’s sitting you down and directly having a conversation with you. “Joshua Tree” is a great example of this. The song feels like a long walk with a close friend after life has gotten a little too heavy for you to burden. Catching up that turns to nostalgia that turns to observations on the more somber aspects of life. The song is also an example of how Berger’s sonic palette has developed, showcasing a sparse but powerful use of found sounds and instrumentation to create an entrapping atmosphere.

Where “Joshua Tree” shows Berger’s ability to create refined soundscapes, “Carnival Crowds” is an example of how Berger continues to experiment. Clean, bouncy, soft, and upbeat instrumentation combines with the distorted autotuned vocals to create a slightly uncomfortable and increasingly unstable feeling until the song eventually winds down to a slight, calming hum. The instrumentation directly connects to the story told within the song as well (listen for yourself below).

Temporary Towns will be released Friday, August 4th but we have an exclusive premiere of the entire album below. Take a listen and be sure to snag the album when it comes out later this week.