Pennan Brae
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Pennan Brae

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2019 | SELF

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2019
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter




"Pennan Brae Swaggers On Strut-1980s"

Vancouver-based singer-songwriter and screenwriter Pennan Brae premieres the music video for “Strut 1980s,” a song from his most recent album The Astronot: Gravity, featuring the talents of drummer Steve Ferrone, who has played with Tom Petty, Duran Duran, and Eric Clapton, and bassist Garry Gary Beers of INXS.
According to Brae, “Working with Steve and Garry is such an honor. These are my musical heroes, it still hasn’t fully sunk in that I had the chance to record with them.”
Replete with the heady, distinctive, and tantalizing sound of the ’80s, the album, like a musical Doctor Who, travels back in time yet remains unmistakably contemporary, which is what makes it so wonderful.
Gravity includes five mixes by producers Kirk Kelsey and Eric Alexandrakis. Mastered by Grammy winner Sean Magee at Abbey Road, the album represented Brae’s first time recording with violin, cello, mandolin, pedal steel guitar, and banjo.
Over the last two years, Brae has produced two feature films, The Astronot (2018), and 2 Below (2019), which have garnered acclaim at more than 160 film festivals. Brae not only composed the soundtracks for the films, but developed the scripts and acted in the films, under the direction of Tim Cash, who also directed the music video for “Strut 1980s.”
Opening on a crunching beat topped by a fat rolling bassline, “Strut 1980s” resonates with gleaming layers of synth colors, glowing vocal harmonies, droning tones, and swooshing sonic textures. Brae’s suave evocative voice, reminiscent of Robert Palmer crossed with Rick Springfield, infuses the lyrics with cool, nonchalant smoldering sensuality, akin to a sonic version of Steve McQueen.
The video opens with a figure hitting golf balls in the middle of a desert. He’s dressed in a kitschy flamboyant outfit decorated with pink Flamingos. From that point on, the visuals add a parade of eccentric characters suffused in pink auras, along with giant pink inflatable Flamingos, pink-clad ninjas, and the wildest ghillie suit ever.
“Strut 1980s” is superb, on two levels: musically and visually. The music pulses and surges with the tantalizing flavors of the ’80s, while the images inject an elusive familiarity to anyone around during the decade of big hair, glam, and impeccably polished rock and roll. - Medium

"5 Questions With Pennan Brae"

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Pennan Brae & I’m a singer-songwriter & screenwriter in Vancouver. In 2019 I released my 5th album, ‘Gravity’ from ‘The Astronot’ feature film, which I wrote, scored & acted in. It screened in a number of film festivals on the 2018/19 circuit. We hope to have it streaming online in early 2020. The trailer for ‘The Astronot’ can be seen here.

In Dec 2019, I released a new music video for ‘Strut–1980s’, which is the lead single off ‘Gravity’. It was a blast to shoot & aims to be a musical & visual time portal to the Eighties. The track was mixed by producers Kirk Kelsey & Grammy-nominated Eric Alexandrakis. It was then mastered by Grammy-winning engineer Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios. The music video can be seen here.

Also in 2019 I released my second feature film called ’2 Below 0’ which I wrote, scored & acted in. It’s currently on the 2019/2020 film festival circuit. I shot these 2 films & music video with director Tim Cash of Far From Earth Films in Central Oregon. I love his filmmaking style & storytelling abilities with the camera. The trailer for ‘2 Below 0’ can be seen here.

Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.

My music is influenced by artists from the 1950s to the 1980s, especially The Rolling Stones, Beatles & Eagles. On ‘The Astronot Soundtrack’, I employed a lot of new instruments such as the violin, cello & pedal steel guitar. I worked with a lot of great musicians in Vancouver & recorded at a great studio called Blue Light Studio. On the 2 lead singles, ‘Walk With Me’ & ‘Crashland’, I got to record with legendary drummer Steve Ferrone & INXS bassist Garry Gary Beers. That was a huge honour.

In February 2020, I plan to release the soundtrack for ‘2 Below 0’ which will be entirely guitar-driven. I’m excited by that album as it will be the most classic rock-influenced work I’ll have released to date.

Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?

We’re currently rehearsing the soundtrack for our ‘2 Below 0’ film which we plan to take live March 2020. We’ll also have tracks from ‘The Astronot’ in the set which will include both upbeat rockers & slower ballads.

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?

‘Crashland’ off ‘The Astronot’ soundtrack. It has a dirty guitar riff off the top which broadens into a nice melody in the chorus. I wrote the track with Eric Alexandrakis. It was then produced by Paul David Hager & mastered by Grammy-winner Emily Lazar.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

My favourite Canadian band is The Tragically Hip; they are simply the best. I also love Platinum Blonde & Honeymoon Suite from the 1980s. Bryan Adams is incredible it goes without saying. & Neil Young is otherworldly; it’s hard to put into words how great he is. - Canadian Beats

"Pennan Brae Time-Travels Back To The Future In Video for Strut-1980s"

Pennan Brae shoots for the moon but lands in the ’80s in his colourful video for Strut-1980s — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

A wild slice of Hawaiian-shirted, pink-flamingoed nostalgic pop futurism, Strut-1980s is the latest release from the Canadian singer-songwriter and screenwriter’s Gravity: The Astronot — a remix of sorts of Brae’s previously released soundtrack The Astronot.

The story of The Astronot takes place during the space race of the 1960s, a historical period Brae has always found fascinating. “As a kid, I was intrigued by pictures of the planets, solar system and galaxies,” says the Vancouver artist. “The space picture books of the 1970s really captured this — it was the tail end of the NASA moon landing missions, and there were so many books for kids to read. I don’t know what was in their ink, but the illustrations seemed so majestic and captivating.”

Brae’s film has been on the festival circuit for the better part of the last two years, receiving extensive accolades and recognition at more than 100 festivals in the feature film, screenwriting, soundtrack, movie poster and film trailer categories. The 11-track soundtrack The Astronot came in 2018 and is followed by this year’s Gravity: The Astronot, an eight-song sequel that includes dance and club mixes, including Strut-1980’s fusion of gated drums, handclaps, glimmering guitars, spaced-out synths and more.

The video colourfully mines the same the ’80s vibe “with lots of bright colours & fun themes,” he says. “It was a blast shooting this. I drove nine hours from Vancouver to Bend, Oregon and we began filming the next day. We shot it in the desert with pink flamingos, and the colour pink plays a large role in the story.” - Tinnitist

"91.5FM's Interview With Pennan Brae"

Pennan Brae's Interview With Michael McCartney (at the 21-minute mark) can be heard at: - Pennan Brae

"Artist First Radio Interview With Pennan Brae"

Artist First Radio's Interview With Pennan Brae With Pennan Brae can be heard at: - Pennan Brae

"The Vinyl Experience Podcast With Pennan Brae"

The Vinyl Experience Podcast With Pennan Brae can be heard at: - Pennan Brae

"KSCL 91.3FM's Interview With Pennan Brae"

KSCL 91.3FM's Interview With Pennan Brae can be heard at: - Pennan Brae

"MusicDish TV Reviews Pennan's Video 'Goin' Down'"

Singer/songwriter Pennan Brae released two full-length works in 2009, one of which is called 'Amber Glow' and features, among other billiant songs, Goin' Down. The tune is as soft and laid-back as all Brae's repertoire. But the track soon unveils its distinctive edgy sound, spiced with blues. The video was released on March 1, 2010. Brae's songs have been widely appreciated last year, receiving airplays and charts placements not only in North America, but also in Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The video of Goin' Down was directed by Thomas Smith and stars actress Raquel Riskin.

Pennan Brae's voice is soft and gentle. His songwriting quite often involves romance and love. Instrumentally, he's a master on keyboards, having played the piano since the age of 5. He is also a great guitarist and on many tracks you can hear him playing harmonica. Find out more on his music at - MusicDish TV

"Pennan Brae Releases New Album"

"Shaded Joy" a Welcome Addition to Canadian Music Scene; Nov 27, 2008.

Musician Pennan Brae releases new album, which was recorded on PEI. Read this interview for insight into the inspiration behind Pennan Brae's album "Shaded Joy".

Vancouver-based musician Pennan Brae recently traveled 6000 kilometres from coast to coast to record his album, "Shaded Joy". Recorded at A Major Sound studio in Malpeque, Prince Edward Island, Pennan is excited about the release and can't wait to take his music on the road.

Recently, Pennan Brae stayed put long enough to share personal stories and insight into the creation of his album "Shaded Joy".

Musical Influences

Pennan is a singer, pianist, and harmonica player who also plays a bit of guitar and bass. For those who haven't heard Pennan's music, it's a subtle fusion of rock, light rock, and acoustic melodies. Pennan thoughtfully sums up his music, "We keep the songs melodic, with a fun harmonic structure beneath and a solid, tight beat throughout."

When describing his musical influences, Pennan gets animated.
"Well, it starts with the blues first and foremost. Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Elmore James. There's something essential and foundational in that music. It cools you out and sets you straight. After that it's a chronology of 50s rock, with brilliant writing from Buddy Holly & Eddie Cochrane, the 60s a la the Beatles, Stones, Dylan. The 70s with Steve Miller, Springsteen, Mellencamp. "

With well-placed harmonicas and irresistible piano undertones, Pennan has successfully blended his musical influences into his own unique, well-rounded sound.

It's obvious by Pennan's passion for the musical greats that music is integral to him. "Oh, music is vital. It calms you down and brings you up. And it can offer some extra support and inspiration when you need it. I think art generally, be it painting, drama, fashion or literature is vital to the soul's growth and nurturing. It softens us up, makes us creative, keeps us understanding."
"Besides," he laughs, "music is fun to dance to!"

"Shaded Joy" Album

There are seven songs on his recently released EP. The song lyrics span diverse topics, but they are unified by a central musical theme: shaded joy.

Pennan Brae opened up about each song's inspiration:

• "Anyways" refers to a girl in high school;
• "Have You Ever Been" considers that we're never alone, and we can relate to what others are experiencing;
• "Pathways" deals with reuniting with someone that you haven't seen in a long time;
• "Won't You Spend The Night With Me" is self-explanatory;
• "The Forgotten Man" is about a man losing his wife to Alzheimer's disease;
• "Blind Love" is when you're just too oblivious to note the obvious; and
• "Something's Missing" touches on what we might be missing in life.

Pennan's inspiration for the album title itself came from a trip to Thailand. "I saw this lone tree in a field in rural Thailand. There was nothing about; just this lone, solitary tree. It looked like it had been there for a while, as in hundreds of years. I wondered if at one time it had a bunch of other friends--as in trees. I'm sure it did."
"But the tree looked impressive and romantic; kind of indignant that it was not going to move from this spot, even though everything else had been cleared around it. Then, add a person strumming a guitar under the shade of it and what do you have? Shaded Joy!"

Toward the Future

Pennan Brae, as always, is looking toward the future. In fact, he's already working toward recording his next EP.

But Pennan doesn't take his successes for granted. Nor does he forget how fortunate he is to be living in the now. "We're so fortunate to live in an era where music is so easily broadcast," he says. "Imagine centuries past! You'd have to get to a symphony hall somewhere to hear the latest Bach or Beethoven."

Thankfully, if you'd like to read more about what Pennan is up to or would like to purchase his album "Shaded Joy", you don't have to travel as far as the days of yore. Just visit Pennan's site.

In the words of Pennan Brae, "Life without music would be like TV without colour...and sound for that matter! Keep your ear to the ground!"

The copyright of the article Pennan Brae Releases New Album in Music News is owned by Laura-Jane Koers. Permission to republish Pennan Brae Releases New Album in print or online must be granted by the author in writing. -

"Junior's Cave Interview With Pennan Brae"

If you are in the mood for something laid-back and chilled with a pop-rock edge to the sound, then Pennan Brae promises to be the perfect choice. His style of music easily sets him as a music entertainer who captures the softer side to Rock/Pop music. In this recent spotlight with our Webzine, Pennan speaks briefly about his music. Enjoy!

Isaac: What was the best part of 2009 so far for you musically?

Pennan: I reached the Top 10 (at #9) on FMQB's AC Top 40 for my lead single, 'Anyways'.

Isaac: What do you feel was your biggest accomplishment for 2008?

Pennan: I recorded my debut CD, 'Shaded Joy'.

Isaac: Describe the music scene in your area.

Pennan: Vancouver has a great music scene; it's very West Coast, attracting lots of artists from around the world.

Isaac: What has been the best venue to perform at and why?

Pennan: My very first gig in high school at a music hall; the first time's always the best!

Isaac: Elaborate a little about whom were your biggest influences in the music industry and why?

Pennan: My biggest influences have been musicians, such as The Beatles, Rolling Stones, AC DC & Elton John. I admire their professionalism.

Isaac: Let's talk about what you feel you will bring to the music industry?

Pennan: I play laid-back, chilled pop-rock, which I hope people will enjoy & relax to.

Isaac: If you had an opportunity to work with one artist or group, who would it be and why?

Pennan: I would love to work with The Rolling Stones, for I feel they are the best at what they do.

Isaac: How would you describe your music to others?

Pennan: My music is relaxing, mellow pop-rock.

Isaac: What type of feedback have you received from fans about your music?

Pennan: So far it's been positive; that they enjoy the music.

Isaac: Where can fans locate you at online?

Pennan: My music is at

Isaac: What can fans expect from you in the next five years?

Pennan: I plan on recording, releasing & performing many more albums.

Isaac: Time for some shout outs to your family, friends, and fans.

Pennan: Thanks to everyone for their time in listening & support.

Isaac: Final words…

Pennan: Relax & be happy!
- Junior's Cave

"FMQB Interview With Pennan Brae"

Get To Know... Pennan Brae

Town and state you grew up in: I grew up in Toronto, Ontario.

Town and state you live in now: I live in Vancouver, BC.

First instrument: My first instrument was the piano.

Instruments you currently play: I currently play keyboards, harmonica, guitar, bass & sing.

First performance: My first performance was in Grade 10 at a High School Musical at a Hall for 1,000 people. It was a fantastic experience. I played Bruce Hornsby's “The Way It Is” with a drummer.

Last book you read: I read “The Pursuit of Happyness” by Chris Gardner. An inspiring story.

Favorite movie: My favorite movie is “Trainspotting.”

Song you wish you had written: “Yesterday” by Paul McCartney.

Favorite song: “Happy” by The Rolling Stones.

Three people (alive or dead) you would want to have dinner with: 1) Keith Richards, 2) Robert Johnson, 3) Buddy Holly

Three CD’s you can’t live without: 1) “Forty Licks” by The Rolling Stones, 2) “Highway To Hell” by AC/DC, 3) “Hail Hail Rock 'n Roll” by Chuck Berry

Your most recent project: My “Shaded Joy” CD.

Message to the world: Focus on your dreams, live positively & treat others as you'd like to be treated. - FMQB

"Indie Showcase Review Of Pennan Brae's 'Amber Glow'"

'Amber Glow' Review By Australia's Indie Showcase
Australia's DJ Shashona of Indie Showcase, below reviews 'Amber Glow', the 2nd release from Pennan Brae.
'This amazing singer / songwriter hails from Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada. Pennan Brae has captured the listener with outstanding lyrics and uniquely presented vocals. This laid Back and Sexy Artist brings us slow and easily into his world. Amber Glow, has within its cover catchy and upbeats songs, bluesy and sexy tracks, along with ballads. He takes you on a journey through relationships and human emotions. His songwriting skills show through out Amber Glow. He has used the harmonica, piano, Organ and guitar on these tracks in such a way that they will leave you weeping with joy. Very Nicely done indeed.
I have chosen three tracks off Amber Glow to single out here to review. These three are my personal favorites from this amazing Album:
Goin Down - This is the 2nd track off Amber Glow. I choose this one for its sexy bluesy feel. Pennan Brae will have you swaying along from the first note.It is a catchy melody that you will buy into from the first note. He sings about Falling and rising up. Goin' Down speaks of this roller Coaster we call life. Broken Relationships and getting back up on our feet to go on. He has nailed it on the head with this track. The Organ and harmonica seals the deal!! The lyrics will touch the soul of anyone who has gone through this. Brilliantly done!
If I lose you - Pennan Brae has allowed us to see into his heart on this track. He speaks of the fear of loosing one he loves. The feeling of isolation and loneliness. The lyrics cry for a soft place to fall, resolution and hope. Brilliantly composed. Once again , he has used the harmonica to showcase the song successfully. Pennan Brae has the ability to tell a story within his songs that we can all relate to. Terrific Job on this track Pennan Brae!!
I need you now - This is an upbeat song from the Amber Glow Album. I dare you not to tap along! Fantastic drums / percussion work on this track. Pennan Brae will convince you that He "Needs You Now"!!! It is a celebration of human relationship, friendship and Love. This track will leave you smiling. Once again Pennan shows us his songwriting abilities with "I Need You Now". I love the upbeat vocals on this. I am convinced! Pennan Brae is the Bomb!!
Pennan Brae has done a wonderful Job on this Amber Glow Album. Give yourself a treat today and grab it! Its one of those albums you will want in your car, your home, well, everywhere.'
Yours in the music always
Shashona & The Indie Showcase Team
Indie Showcase
Indie Showcase Review of Amber Glow
[The 2nd CD cover (Amber Glow) back.] - Indie Showcase


Gravity - The Astronot - 2019
The Astronot - 2018
Early Rise - 2011
Amber Glow - 2009
Shaded Joy - 2008



Vancouver based singer-songwriter & screenwriter Pennan Brae could be a living vestige that the above quote is absolutely true. While working on his fourth album, he took an artistic turn he couldn’t have expected, leading him in a surprise direction that ended up fulfilling many of his ambitions. As a performer, Pennan constantly challenges himself to not only grow musically, but to take risks. In doing so, he has created a work he is incredibly proud of, establishing himself as a truly independent artist.

“As a kid, I was fascinated by pictures of the planets, solar system and galaxies,” says Pennan. “The space picture books of the 1970s really captured this. It was the tail end of the NASA moon landing missions and there were so many books for kids to read. The colour of the pages and pictures; I don’t know what was in their ink, but the illustrations seemed so majestic.” With this in mind, Pennan’s goal for the album cover – at that time called Midnight Reverie – was going to be fairly straightforward, with him dressed in a space suit standing in the countryside underneath a full moon. While riffing about ideas, photographer Dan Jackson suggested Pennan hold an old ladder so it looked like he was going to climb up to the moon. Pennan immediately changed the name of the album to THE ASTRONOT, and the seed was planted for another idea.

THE ASTRONOT was recorded at Blue Light Studio in Vancouver with Producer Kaj Falch-Nielsen, with additional sessions taking place in LA with renowned drummer Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Duran Duran, Eric Clapton) and INXS bassist Garry Gary Beers. “Hearing Steve Ferrone lay down the drums and Garry Gary Beers adding bass on “Walk with Me” and “Crashland” is the highlight of my career. When I was younger, I used to watch Steve drum on Eric Clapton’s 24 Nights at the Royal Albert Hall, which I had on VHS. With Garry, I was a big INXS fan in high school. They are an original band with an original sound and one of the all-time greats.” Composer and producer Eric Alexandrakis served as a mentor and one of the producers on THE ASTRONOT, and it was he who brought in Steve and Garry. “Working with Steve and Garry is such an honour. These are my musical heroes, it still hasn’t fully sunk in that I had the chance to record with them.”

Producer Kirk Kelsey (Creed) joined the crew, working with Pennan to make magic on the mix. “Kirk has such a wonderful touch and sensitivity on the tracks. His mixes gave the album a cinematic feel.”

THE ASTRONOT & GRAVITY (Pennan’s 5th album release) was mastered by Grammy Award winning engineer Sean Magee (The Beatles Remasters, Pink Floyd, U2) at his home Studio, Abbey Road (“hallowed ground to me”), and, for the first time, Pennan recorded with several instruments he’d never used before, adding violin, cello, mandolin, pedal steel guitar and banjo in to the orchestration. The songwriting was equally important. “I usually write alone, I kind of like to be in a quiet, dimly lit room and just start banging away. Writing lyrics is hard, sometimes you write something amazing, other times you don’t, and you just have to keep at it. The lyrics on THE ASTRONOT cover a variety of universal topics: loneliness, longing and love.”

Not unlike the books Pennan read as a child, THE ASTRONOT has a 70’s feel, with piano led tracks and a take-the-top-down-go-for-a-ride vibe. Standout tracks include “Walk With Me,” a 3:12 second rocking stomper, “Crashland,” with its wicked guitar riff and Kinks-like touch, the very groovy “Goin’ Down,” featuring cello by David Peters, taking the song in a luminous direction and “If I Lose You,” a gorgeous tune with a shimmering harmonica break. The otherworldly “Crashland Dream” completes the album with its buzzy, spacey sound.

Along with the ear-worm worthy tracks, incredible guest performers and deft instrumentation, there’s something else to THE ASTRONOT; while shooting the cover Pennan was struck with the idea to make a feature length movie, also called THE ASTRONOT, with his music serving as the soundtrack. “(Photographer) Dan made the suggestion that I should hold a rickety old ladder and from that moment I had the idea of a character who longed to be an astronaut but was inhibited in some way.” Anyone who is familiar with Pennan’s first three albums won’t be entirely surprised at this path, since his popular YouTube channel features music videos that have gotten upward of 25,000 views.

Mostly THE ASTRONOT was the opportunity for the progress and change that Pennan Brae had been looking for. “This release is special because it represents growth. We tried many different arrangements and recorded with different instruments and musicians. It certainly feels like a departure from my earlier three albums. My goal was to write an album instead of a group of separate singles. I hope that listeners enjoy hearing it unfold."