Ayla Brook & The Sound Men are a band meant to be seen live, with folks crowded up to a bar, the room overflowing with the raucous natter of tall stories and laughter thrown around like confetti. The songs Ayla Brook writes are about celebration, getting up close and tight with family and friends, and letting the music get loud. Songs powered with major chords and sweet guitar leads, and a kick drum heart beat. Songs that lift you up. Lift you up!
Edmonton, AB roots rockers Ayla Brook & The Sound Men released their latest album, “Desolation Sounds, from Fallen Tree Records on March 13, 2020, on the heels of two highly regarded singles: “(I Think I) Hit My Limit” and “All That I Wanted to Do” (I reviewed the latter here for Great Dark Wonder in February). The album release received warm accolades from the industry and fans alike, and many recognized that the songs of this album were going to carry the band through a highly anticipated series of shows and subsequent tour.
The album is a spicy mix of full-on rockers, to deep soulful blues, pop songs and ballads. Everything you need for a night out with your best pal, with your loved one on your arm. Produced by Terra Lightfoot, every song is allowed enough space to breathe and feel grounded. In many ways it is that simple down to earth feeling throughout the album that makes it such a joy to listen to.
“Desolation Sounds” takes its title from the opening song, “Lift You Up,” which is now officially released as a video from the band as part of the Alberta Spotlight series. Shot in a simple rehearsal space, the band members respectfully masked initially, with the prescribed safety zone between them, is soon lost to the song and as Ayla’s lead guitar breaks away, they all add something special to keep him afloat.
“Sweet hum of amplifiers / Pressure drops as the walls perspire / Kings and queens of the small-town scene / In old leather and army green / Volume swells as the sun goes down / Lost in desolation sounds.”
This is a concert song and anthem, aimed directly at their fans and friends. Played as a straightforward rock story, the song pays tribute to all the people who collectively love and support live music. Described as the band’s love song to the “music community – the venues, techs, bar staff and listeners,” this is for those who love music with all their hearts, heads swaying and feet tapping to the beat, as the band soars above them inviting them along. Sing your song, they shout, sing your song. This video is a happy gathering of a band destined to be out amongst us, playing. For now they can only sing their song live on video and invite us to sing along.