Carl Broemel’s third single from his upcoming record 4th of July doesn’t employ snowflake imagery to denote some “stunning originality of his one true love.” Thankfully, the MMJ guitarist’s inspiration is a bit more nuanced, and scientific: “‘Snowflake’ is partly influenced by the interesting but questionable book The Hidden Messages in Water,” Broemel informs SPIN, “Where a scientist flash-freezes water drops while participants think happy or sad thoughts. Positive thoughts made beautiful snowflakes and negative thoughts made messy ugly shapes.”
If the book’s theory actually holds, anyone listening to Broemel’s newest single would create gorgeous snowflakes, as the song as is about as feel-good as music gets. Even through moments of self-pity (“Tell me that you’ll miss me / Even if it’s fake”), Broemel’s simple strumming and honeyed voice construct a sanctuary of soft pop, a bliss-inspiring antidote to anxiety. The simplest moments of MMJ (like last year’s “Get the Point”) resonate most here, though Broemel is wispy enough to distinguish his style from that of the group.
Two-and-a-half minutes in, just when a doubter could think to discard “Snowflake” as a too-familiar morsel of acoustic indie, something weird happens: Broemel stops singing. In a gloriously unadorned Pecknold-esque grace period, the guitarist-at-heart replaces an expected climax with a soft spotlight on his instrument alone.
Check out the single and tour dates below, and look out for 4th of July, out August 19.
August 19 – Nashville, TN @ Grimey’s (In-Store)
August 20 – Nashville, TN @ Basement East
August 21 – Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
August 27 – Arrington, VA @ Lock’n Festival *
October 6 – Lexington, KY @ The Burl
October 7 – Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle
October 8 – Charlotte, NC @ The Evening Muse
October 10 – Athens, GA @ Caledonia Lounge
October 12 – Decatur, GA @ Eddie’s Attic
October 13 – Birmingham, AL @ Workplay
October 14 – New Orleans, LA @ Preservation Hall
October 15 – Oxford, MS @ Proud Larrys
October 28-30 – Live Oak, FL @ Suwannee Hulaween*
* with My Morning Jacket