Br'er City of Ice
City of Ice is the follow up to Br'er's 2007 full-length and debut album, Of Shemales and Kissaboos. In the four years that have passed, Br'er has released a string of singles and EPs exploring a wide spectrum of musical ideas that were only hinted at in previous efforts.
While those releases are chock full of a seemingly disparate mishmash of influences and directions, all of the music thus far has been carefully crafted and filtered through the ever-honing ears of principal songwriter and producer, Benjamin Schurr.
As such, City of Ice is the culmination of Br'er's efforts over the past four years and reconciles their past ideas into a more mature and focused work. Sonically, City of Ice takes cues from throughout Br'er's discography, blending bleak industrial soundscapes, bittersweet pop songwriting, and modern classical music, but done now with the refined hand of an experienced songwriter.
An encapsulation of Schurr's experiences as a native of Philadelphia, City of Ice was written and recorded in two locations, Philadelphia and Asheville, North Carolina. Though it was recorded with a host of musicians from the Philadelphia and Asheville areas, City of Ice was a largely solitary effort for Schurr, an album of sobering self reflection, and a meditation on the people and places that surround his memories of both growing up in Philadelphia and living there as an adult.
Followers of Br'er's earlier work will recognize similar themes of abuse, detached sexuality, violence, marginalization, and displacement on City of Ice, but this difficult subject matter is approached with a drive towards catharsis and transcendence that distinguishes City of Ice from previous Br'er efforts.
City of Ice comes packaged in a gatefold CD sleeve built out of recycled paper, with an attached booklet containing lyrics and photography. The sleeve is housed in handmade cases covered in gel transfers of photography used in the album artwork on top of acrylic and watercolor washes. Each one is unique and hand numbered.