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Single Review: “Tub of Love” Ron Brunk

A hook that is as subtle as it is charismatic. Harmonies that wrap around us like a tender hug from someone we’ve missed for far too long. Melodies that are as touching and meaningful as the lyrics they surround. This is all par for the course in “Tub of Love,” the penetrative pop song that Ron Brunk is releasing this past June as his official greeting card to a world ready for some fresh pop fodder. Listeners with a taste for the mundane would do well to stay away from this chicly transcendent track, as it’s got an experimental layering that isn’t just outside of the mainstream; it’s flat-out bold, and from what I can tell, proud to be so.

It isn’t a folk-rock song, but “Tub of Love” has some serious attitude that makes it an appealing listen to alternative audiences as well as fans of more traditional Americana. Brunk is always front and center in the mix, leading the keys that form his backing like an old-school frontman pining for the attention of a crowded arena. He stops short of being arrogant here, but there’s a confidence in his delivery that I could only hope to see more of in some of the other artists in his class that I’ve been hearing in the past year or so.

I like that Brunk doesn’t manipulate a bunch of enigmatic verses into some deep poetic narrative in this song; instead of placating us with all the normal platitudes and metaphors about love, relationships, or mistrust, he keeps it on the straight and narrow and employs only a handful of cryptic messages in the delivery of his statements here.

If he’s got something to say, Ron Brunk rightly says it to us – he doesn’t use an instrumental smokescreen, nor does he break away from the main melody for some ridiculously virtuosic vocal solo. I get the vibe that such pedestrian tactics are, frankly, beneath his pedigree.

Brunk doesn’t sound like a newbie to the recording process in “Tub of Love,” and that by itself makes this single one worth checking out if you’re keen on up-and-coming artists with a lot of potential to brag about. He avoids the kind of indulgence that has become a mainstay of indie pop, but he isn’t the least bit reticent about piling on the heartfelt harmonies. Granted, this is not his first release, but he’s set the bar so high for himself moving forward that it’s going to be hard for both him and those certain competitors within his scene to top what he’s already done here.

You can look high and low this summer, but finding another pop song with the urbane,

provocative edge that “Tub of Love” has is going to be tough. Ron Brunk is leading the charge for a new era in pop-leaning singer/songwriter music, and he isn’t hiding his ambitiousness from us at all in his latest release. He still has some growing up to do, but make no mistake about it – this is a musician who knows what he is doing for certain.

Savannah Renfro

About Michael Stover

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