Artist-turned-musician, Bruce Horan offers the listener a glimpse into his creative mind on his debut album Tigershark. A graduate of Pratt Institute with a Masters of Fine Arts, and currently based out of Norwalk, CT, this guy has clearly got talent, which comes through on the seemingly careful thinking that went into each step of producing and recording this album. While primarily an artist (he paints in many mediums), Horan courageously ventures into the world of music through this work. Being a solo venture, with every instrument and vocal part recorded individually and then mixed and mastered at 30 Below Recording Studio in New York City, Tigershark is a true work of art.
Every song offers the listener a poem put to music. The vocals on this album have an almost spoken word-like quality on many of the tunes, putting more emphasis on the lyrics, which are definitely worth giving a listen to. Some of the lyrics even teach lessons, including “Stalactite,” which contains a description of how stalagmites and stalactites are formed, and “Combined,” which features a whole verse of a couple speaking French that sounds like it is sampled from a language learning tape.
Although tough to categorize, one could consider the first half of the album to be in the family-friendly genre, with some more repetitive and easy to follow instrumental patterns, and goofy lyrics about how Horan likes his eggs cooked on “Eggs,” and what would happen if the poles were reversed on – surprise, surprise – “If the Poles Reversed.” The second half of the album takes a more “emo” turn, with some more melancholy tunes about unrequited love on “Bumble,” and about having eight different worlds going on in his head on “Entropy.” Overall, most of his songs have a very stream of consciousness-like quality to them, with a bit of a perhaps intentionally unpolished sound. Hints of inspiration from bands like Ween and Weezer seem to come through in Horan’s quirky musical stylings.
If you are interested in giving Tigershark a listen, you can stream or download it for free on Horan’s website, where you will also find music from his second album Riptide, as well as samples of his impressive artwork. Horan also keeps his Facebook page pretty well up-to-date with music videos as he produces them, so there are plenty of opportunities to check this guy out. While not currently performing live, one can only hold out hope that he will decide to do some shows in the future. In the meantime, you’ll just have to enjoy the listen.
Key Tracks: Stalactite, Combined, Peregrine’s Wall