A MUSIC + RESEARCH EXPERIMENT
Citizen Bravo is Matt Brennan, a dual citizen of Canada and Scotland. Born in Nova Scotia and raised in New Brunswick, he immigrated to Scotland at the age of twenty-two to study and make music. In the mid-2000s, Brennan was a founding member of indie pop group Zoey Van Goey (Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian produced the band’s debut single, and the group released two well received albums on Chemikal Underground Records before disbanding in 2012). Citizen Bravo marks Brennan's first outing as a solo artist.
On his debut album, Build A Thing Of Beauty, Brennan found inspiration in scavenging and manipulating orphaned samples from antique recording formats and integrating them into his songs. The album was hailed as “pulse-quickening pop … smart and self-aware” (MOJO), while "the songs themselves run through a hugely diverse range of touchpoints, with the record taking in melodic indie rock, measured balladry and electronic experimentalism … The ideas at the heart of it will help mark him out as a musical maverick" (The Skinny).
His second album, Return To Y’Hup: The World of Ivor Cutler, was a large-scale collaboration celebrating the work of the late beloved Scottish artist. It received glowing 4-star reviews across the music press, and was praised as 'a joyful reaffirmation of Cutler's skewed genius' (MOJO), 'a wonderfully diverse tribute to the late absurdist poet' (Uncut), which 'succeeds beautifully [in its intention] to affirm Cutler as a national treasure' (Observer).
Brennan maintains a dual career as an artist and researcher, and sometimes these two practices inform one another. In the case of Build A Thing Of Beauty, for example, the album’s release coincides with the publication of videos presenting collaborative research on how the economic and environmental costs of recorded music have changed over history. Similarly, the sole physical copy of the album is a one-off interactive musical sculpture called the SCI★FI★HI★FI, which toured as part of a series of public lectures in lieu of a traditional tour.