By Sara Dudley Brown, Theatre Editor
I’m trying something new in this column this month—bringing a beautiful, sensitively written and performed new album to your attention. And attention should be paid! Wait until you hear it! Brenna Carroll wrote the music, lyrics and sang the 12 songs on this extraordinary new album titled “Gallery”.
Brenna is a former Alexandrian who is now currently living and working (singing) in Europe. However, she previously spent a year of her life writing and editing the songs for this album in Boston. All the songs have themes of mental health, growing up and entering her twenties, and her first real heartbreak. She says she always writes about whatever is going on in her life, since that is the only story she can fully describe.
Brenna says she has always been obsessed with Carole King, her life story and her music, and draws inspiration from her “Tapestry” album in which King wrote her own lyrics and music. “Tapestry” seems bittersweet to Brenna and she would really like to sit down and have a drink with Carole. Who wouldn’t? But she means it! Other artists who have inspired Brenna over the years are Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and Joni Mitchell. You will hear echoes of the sounds of their voices in Brenna Carroll’s delivery of her songs—through her distinctive sound, her total musicianship, and her well-chosen cuts on this album. Additionally she has top-notch back up musicians on this album.
Ms. Carroll, by the way, is an Alexandria native, a graduate of Alexandria’s St. Mary’s School and Bishop Ireton High School, and the Berklee College of Music in Boston. She was very active in local music programs in her undergraduate days, participating in years of theater shows and choir in high school, as well as performing solo gigs on vocals and piano in Shirlington and the District.
Brenna is no stranger to awards either. Among others, she has won the YoungArts’ Best Popular Voice award and the Cappies’ Critics Choice for Best Female Vocalist. These days, in addition to writing and performing her own music, Brenna does topline writing for artists in markets around the world in the pop, folk, rock, and R&B genres with releases this year in Taiwan and Spain.
Brenna’s new album, “Gallery” can be purchased digitally through iTunes or streamed on all online sites. Physical copies can be purchased through www.brennacarroll.com, Amazon and CD Baby!