At the young age of 21, Briston Maroney has become one of the most exciting singer-songwriters to break out of Nashville in recent years. With his new EP, Indiana, he proves that he is wise beyond his years, continuously honing in on his ingenious artistry, and forging ahead into a long and promising career.
Indiana is the third EP from Briston Maroney, following up 2018’s Carnival, and 2017’s Big Shot releases. He’s already earned massive critical acclaim from the likes of Consequence of Sound, NPR, Paper Magazine, and Ones to Watch to name a few, signed a major record deal with Canvasback / Atlantic Records, and has garnered extensive touring experience including festival appearances such as Austin City Limits.
Indiana opens up with the energetic track “Small Talk”, an infectious alt-rock track with dynamic instrumentation and a satisfying sense of angst. Lyrically Briston Maroney tackles the feeling of seeing through the facade that some people put forth to hide their true inner thoughts, feelings, and struggles. One of my favorite lines from “Small Talk” is
You cannot lie, not what I expected to see
You shake at every simple question
I know you more than you could ever hope I would
“Caroline” was the lead single from Indiana which picked up strong support from radio and playlists. It’s a beautifully written song that perfectly encapsulates Briston Maroney’s talent as a songwriter. In an interview with Consequence of Sound, Maroney described “Caroline” as
“Caroline” is my letter to the kid just like me who needs a little motivation to get through the day, coming from a pretty imperfect influence like myself.
With “Fools Gold” Maroney delivers another excellent song with a laid back sound and lyrics which address feelings of doubt and uncertainty. Maroney got an unexpected but very pleasant surprise when “Fools Gold” was featured on Taylor Swift’s apple music playlist.
The fourth and final track on Indiana is “St. Augustine”. Its raw and emotional sound makes it my favorite track on the EP. Through simple guitar strumming, intimate vocals, and the periodically out-of-place interjections of electric guitar feedback, “St. Augustine” portrays a sense of vulnerability and even relatable instability from Maroney. It’s a brilliant closing track to the EP and a beautiful glimpse into his creative songwriting style and vision as an artist.
I love how Briston Maroney enlisted director Joey Brodnax for all four music videos for the Indiana EP. Together they were able to create a visual cinematic experience that perfectly complimented each song, and delivered a continuity that bound Indiana together in a masterful overarching experience.
Indiana has easily become one of my favorite EP releases of 2019 so far, and I’m eager to hear more from Briston Maroney. As quickly as he continues to grow, I’m sure that a full-length album is coming soon, or at least I certainly hope so.