Indie Acid-Folk Artist Brian Kirk’s Debut Album, Witness To Reflects on Family, Love, and Tragedy

Brooklyn-based indie acid-folk songwriter Brian Kirk’s debut album, Witness To (6/17) is a series of 7 tracks that serve as a dedicated homage to his late father who passed away during the height of the pandemic.

 

“The hospice centers were already overcrowded due to all the covid patients.” Kirk remembers.  “So my father spent his final days in the living room of my childhood home under my and my family’s care.  It was a very surreal experience.”

This coupling of the painful and the surreal becomes evident over the course of the album; “White Walls” and “Ferns” carry the voice of someone existing in a small and lonely place, while tracks like “Not Thereness” and “Rain Dance” are wrought with mystery and otherworldliness that border on meditative.

 

“I didn’t want the whole thing to be doom and gloom though,” Brian Kirk explains.  “I felt as though the darker elements of the music would  come through just by the nature of the subject matter. So I primarily focused on making sure there was a prevailing element of redemption and growth by the end.”

 

The final track, titled “Holding Hands” is a sentimental send-off for the record, and is Kirk’s clearest example of light at the end of the tunnel.  It’s an unexpected departure from the dominant mood of the music, in which Brian’s lyrical and harmonious stylings are on full display.

 

Summer releases typically conjure images of emerging sunshine and unmitigated joy.  And while this music is decidedly not either of these things, Witness To is a timely record.  For the many people who have recently lost loved ones or find themselves facing any of life’s daunting challenges, the album offers personalized understanding and a niche brand of zen that will resonate deeply with curious listeners.