The song is powerful and engaging, yet unpredictable in nature. Caswell’s unmistakable, ethereal vocals form a distinct jazz melody over a Whirlitzer piano and Mellotron, and the sudden waves of heavy synths and brass, push and pull the listener through the journey with her.
As with all of Caswell’s music, ‘Brother’ delivers a strong message. It is written as a personal and honest letter to her estranged brother, which is reflected in the production at the start and end of the track with a sound that emulates that of a typewriter. It is a plea for him to listen as she reaches out to reconcile the turbulent relationship, yet also deals with the hurt he caused the family. Wanting to talk to the person she feels she has lost, she sings “Brother, won’t you tell me why you’re sad; Maybe you’ll see, that I am not the enemy.”
The release of ‘Brother’ follows on from ‘Animal’ – which has received support from online tastemakers such as The Line Of Best Fit and Wonderland, and reaching over 100,000 streams on Spotify – and showcases more contemplative songwriting from Caswell.
Musically, Caswell fits alongside the likes of Låpsley, Skott and Lorde, with her distinctive rich vocals, downtempo electronic production and hard-hitting lyrics. Her songs are also laced with attractive soul and pop melodies, which make for a darker Sigrid or Maggie Rogers.
Citing influences from Kate Bush, Jeff Buckley and Nina Simone to Björk and Erykah Badu, Caswell’s symbolic and literal voice is clear and convincing, with an emotional maturity beyond her years. This, paired with her grit and determination, means that Caswell is an artist to watch in 2017.