Phillip Bracken

Leicester Bangs Blogspot

The Opole Session (Live Album)


Considering the unfamiliarity of the material to the majority of the musicians, and the live setting in which it’s presented, the results are incredibly cohesive, and not at all basic or lo-fi. Indeed, opening track “It's Not Too Late / Ishmael” is beautifully structured, building slowly and surely, with Bracken in fine voice, and “The Storm” impresses with its European gypsy jazz rhythms and the whole band providing energy and flow. “Les Moustiques” continues the trend, and it’s a wonderful track. It’s almost certainly Bracken’s finest moment here, and the musicians weave complex magic in support.

You Crazy Dreamers

Phillip Bracken - Everything Looks Better in Candlelight EP

Autumn has come to soon ? I’ve got a solution… a one album-trip to Australia. It’s been a while, since ‘To The Dogs or Whoever‘ blog has stopped bringing me its regular dose of Australian music, that  I didn’t receive any input from the land down-under.
A moon on an album cover ; nothing more, nothing else, I was a click away to discover the most brilliant EP this year hold so far.  Phillip Bracken is a young - at least in music, so few information is available about him on the net - a young singer from New South Wales.
Beyond the first calm acoustic tags emerging on a primary listening, this short (i’m just eagerly awaiting for a full length) but intense 5 tracks collection revealed a powerful and hypnotic songwriting.  For sure, Phillip’s brilliant and unique vocal is a major instrument in this beauiful delivering. I’m also totally seduced by the beauty of his compositions : simple - pure - and perfectly arranged.
With songs format which are mostly exceeding the standard, this album is an invitation for a peaceful break… and so residing one of its prowess : peaceful and contemplative but you’ll be surprised murmuring on ‘The Boy and the Sickle’ and ‘Ishmael’ is simply irresistible for your hands to be clapped, foot-taping later - even dancing for sure !  Mesmerizing.
If you need comparisons, the likes of Ben Harper, Nick Drake, Doug Burr or Josh Garrels (for both evocative guitars and warm voice) could be cited. But be sure, you will find none of those afore mentioned listening to Phillip Bracken ; none of those, but a highly dose of unique emotions. Soon to be yours !

For a debut, it’s a monument ! Such a major act won’t be unpunished ; my curisoty, once again, pushed me to contact Phillip for an interview : an opportunity to discover this promising talent. Enjoy his music while reading his anwsers.

YCD : Hello Phillip, how’s it going down-under ?
Phillip Bracken : Really well. I’ve been living in a small coastal town for the last few months and I really like the energy here.

YCD : Before asking any further question, One is teasing my curisity : Tranquil Dwarf, what does it mean ?
Phillip Bracken : It was going to be a moniker until I decided that my own name was good enough. To abbreviate the story the name came from a t.v show. I adjusted it to give it more irony and I guess for something for me to hide behind as well.

YCD : Would you mind telling us your story about music ?
Phillip Bracken : I think we all have something we’re passionate about and that we feel a connection with. Music has always been the companion that accepts and understands all my moods. I’ve always enjoyed singing and writing as separate elements but I didn’t start taking guitar more seriously until a few years ago.

YCD : ‘Everything Looks Better in Candlelight’ is your first release. How did you finally decide to merge your songs into this dense collection and bring it to an audience ?
Phillip Bracken : I wanted something to help myself be heard, remembered after gigs but something more complete than a demo. I was introduced to an amazing musician named Peter Northcote who gave me a nudge. Initially I wanted to record more songs but Pete and a couple of others told me to be patient and just put out five. We recorded the ep in his studio.

YCD : I have played ‘The Boy and Sickle’ at least a hundred times in these last 15 days… what’s your recipe for creating such a flowing song ?
Phillip Bracken : That’s so great to hear. I’m not sure that I have a recipe or set method in the way I write. Sometimes the lyrics come first and at others it’s the music which was the scenario for this song. Finger-picking is also something that feels natural to me.

YCD : Suppose, that you have been condemned to spend a full year on an isolated island. Allowing to bring with you a single object which would you choose : a book or you guitar ?
Phillip Bracken : Tough one. Probably a book and I would create an instrument out of coconuts and banana leaves.

YCD : Is there a song you wish you had written ?
Phillip Bracken : I like the idea of going largely unnoticed and developing an underground following so something like Sugarman by Rodriguez.

YCD : If you could share a stage with any band or artist who would you choose and why ?
Phillip Bracken : Sigur Ros. I saw them play recently and they were completely absorbing as much to the eye as ear. They looked totally lost in their instruments and came across as quite humble and unassuming.

Everything looks better in candlelightYCD : Any other projects for the coming months, a first full length ?
Phillip Bracken : I’m launching my ep in November in Sydney. Other than that I want to play more gigs and improve myself musically. I’d like to do a full-length at some point but it might still be a little way a way.

Roots Time website


Bracken gets his inspiration – so he says himself - from the waves of the sea
the full moon (also on the cover) and the space in between. He therefore
apparently regularly sits (there) dreaming with his head in the clouds.....

singer – songwriter from 
....New South Wales.... in ....Australia.... brings on his recent ep
“Everything Looks Better in Candle Light” easy going folklore music in five
songs. His warm voice sings by the sound of a softly played acoustic guitar  songs such as” How Silent We’ve Become ” in
which Phillip Bracken has set out his observations in close surrounds in well thought
out and evocative text.  ....

On this
debut ep are no sing-alongs but more softly rippling, rhythmic songs that –
carried by his special falsetto voice - retains the interest of listener. ....

” is such a cleverly build up song where  I seem to recognize tangents to songs we
received from the Irish singer – songwriter David Grey in his early days....

Bracken’s voice is his most important and strongest instrument and this shows
once more with the song ”It’s Not to Late (Ismael) in which you are naturally
invited to softly clap your hands in time.....

the simplicity of the songs which seem to be pure and simplistically composed
with subtle instrumentation is sriking when listening to this cd and can even
provide a quiet interlude in the hectic life of the listener.....

a remark concerning the five songs: two of them just exceeded the duration of
six and a halve minutes and The Boy And The Sickle lasts even more than seven
minutes which is not really usual for songs that must produce radio airtime for
this artist. Perhaps Phillip Bracken just needs some more time to tell the whole tale. ....

are already very interested in the continuation of “Everything Looks Better in
Candle Light” which probably will become the first full cd from this talented
Australian singer –songwriter. ....

sure not to forget to send us because we have totally persuaded by this ep.....

to persuade the readers. ....


Reviews for Everything Looks Better in Candlelight

 Alternative Folk at its best! Everything Looks Better In Candlelight is a really strong debut and I'm already looking forward to further exploits of Phillip Bracken. -Ingo Andruschkewitsch from


Folk rock with gutsy vocals and nice stories and tunes.


I sat myself down in my beanbag, hit play, and just went Wow, how good is this!”- the sonic assassin 2SER 107.3FM Sydney


“His debut EP "Everything looks better in candlelight" doesn´t sound like a debut at all, if someone said Phillip Bracken had released about 8-10 albums before this one, I would believe it.” –Kaj from


If you need comparisons, the likes of Ben Harper, Nick Drake, Doug Burr or Josh Garrels (for both evocative guitars and warm voice) could be cited. But be sure, you will find none of those afore mentioned listening to Phillip Bracken ; none of those, but a highly dose of unique emotions.