Peter Broderick is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter who hails from the small town of Carlton, Oregon. Though he is only in his early 20s, the guy has carved out a pretty impressive resume for such a young artist: he has played with numerous indie bands (including M. Ward, Norfolk & Western, Horse Feathers, She & Him, and Laura Gibson), has worked as a session musician at multiple recording studios, and has released a handful of albums and LPs under his own name. Among the many instruments in which he is proficient are the piano, violin, cello, drums, banjo, trumpet, accordion, and musical saw (to name just a few…). In 2007, he joined and toured as a violinist with Efterklang, an indie rock band based out of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Though most of his solo compositions are unadorned musical and vocal arrangements, the real beauty of his work is this: Broderick seems more concerned with crafting music that evolves organically, rather than manufacturing pieces that feel forced but are able to squeeze into a specific advertising niche.
He has an enviable box of musical talents at his disposal and his solo efforts often range in style: his debut album, Float, took his knowledge and love of classical music and spun it into a narrative of finely orchestrated multi-string arrangements. In 2009, he released the lovely Music For Falling From Trees, a musical score to a dance piece by Adrienne Hart that works beautifully as a stand alone work. His 2010 album, Home, had more folk influence than his previous music and it contains some of the most simple, yet beautifully poignant, lyrics I have heard in quite some time. In his music, you consistently hear the influences of both classical and folk; but it feels as if Broderick is exploring the interplay of these genres, rather intentionally echoing them.
Perhaps that process of exploration is why he hasn’t quite unearthed the depths of his own sound just yet. It still feels like it is in the works. But that is not to say that while he may experiment with the use of different instruments (or limit himself to just a few, as he did on Home), that he doesn’t stamp them each with his own musical signature: a refreshing dose of restraint.