Brendan McMahon About Joe EP
Singer-songwriter Brendan McMahon poses for a promotional photo for his single, ‘Doctor,’ which is featured on his EP, ‘About Joe.’

Artist: Brendan McMahon

EP: ‘About Joe’

Production: Produced by Steve Vertigan of Soggy Dog Recording Studio in Upwey, Australia

People can most often intensely experience what it means to be alive when they mix exotic travel adventures with their appreciation for home. That’s certainly the case with singer-songwriter Brendan McMahon, who crafted a strong message on his powerful new EP, ‘About Joe.’ The Melbourne, Australia native created a dynamic musical evolution through his latest edgy and emotionally-charged songs. The pop-rock-country-Celtic-folk-blues five-track album, which is the follow-up to his 2017 EP, ‘Universal,’ enthralling proves what an impassioned vibe he can create as he reflects on the lessons he has learned during his life, both abroad and at home.

McMahon’s gripping new EP begins with its best entry, which is amply titled ‘Home,’ and was inspired by the musician’s trip to China. The memorable pop-rock power ballad reflects on how no matter how far away a person is from their home, and how much they miss everything that waits for them there, they’re still embracing their experiences in new cultures. With inspirations from fellow Australian musician Colin Hay, the former lead singer of the band Men at Work, McMahon’s initial song on his new record features a slow, Celtic-influenced tempo. Also aided by the acoustic guitar that’s highlighted during the beginning of the track, which is soon joined by electric guitars that add emotional texture, the tune would perfectly fit into a sentimental movie score that reflect on how a character’s home influences them.

‘Home’ then delves into what serves as McMahon’s latest album’s title track, ‘Gentleman Joe.’ The song was inspired by three people the singer met during his trip to Morocco. He muses about how people around the world are always driven to expect the worst in everyone. The tune features the powerful and meaningful message that it’s easy to hastily judge other people’s beliefs as a result of a few bad experiences, even though the majority of people that McMahon knows are caring. ‘Gentleman Joe’ is the most political entry on the musician’s new EP, as the lyrics directly deal with the subject of hate. The song’s important message of how things must change in the way people perceive and treat others is backed by its slow-paced instrumentation, which will surely inspire the singer’s listeners to help change the world.

‘About Joe’ then transitions into the infectious entry, ‘Fall Down,’ which wittily personifies a house whose foundation needs repair, which drives it to ask for help. The rock guitar-driven song, which features the most commercial vibe on all of the tracks on the singer-songwriter’s latest album, features the house as a person who’s determined enough to change. It asks for help in becoming strong, so it doesn’t fall down. The determination to rebuild its life shows how most people want to feel safe and secure.

The next tune on the diverse EP is the haunting and military-driven ‘Alive.’ Slightly shifting from his previously pure pop-driven sound on the first three entries on ‘About Joe,’ McMahon fully embraces his rock influences to craft a strong message about the ways that people can truly feel as though they truly do exist, and have the freedom to choose how they want to live.

The last entry on the musician’s latest record is the high energy anthem, ‘Doctor.’ McMahon sings in a low, ominous tone about a young surfer who thought he would find his life’s purpose and meaning by joining the military. But after sustaining injuries on the battle field that would take away his ability to surf, the new solider ponders how he’s supposed to continue to live. The musician’s lyrics explore how the things people often take for granted can quickly be taken away, and as a result, leave them asking a doctor about their new place in the world. The slow pace fuels the dark nature of the music and adds a lot of emotional feeling to the track, which emotionally brings the EP to a close.

People can usually experience what it means to truly exist when they mix exotic travel adventures with their appreciation for home. That’s certainly the case with McMahon, who crafted a strong message on his nostalgic EP, ‘About Joe.’ The Melbourne singer-songwriter created a compelling musical evolution through his latest universally relatable songs. The pop-rock album captivatingly proves what an eclectic vibe he can create as he reflects on the lessons he has learned during his life, both abroad and at home.

For more information on McMahon, visit his Facebook and Spotify pages.

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By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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