*

BROTHER HALLOW

BETTER MORNINGS

CoverArt_WidthforWeb2-04.png

The Liner Notes

The Band

David Jakubowski, James Ohngren, Sarah Reznich & Eric Scharver

Special Guest

Niko Eklund

All Songs Arranged and Produced
Brother Hallow

Recorded at None Other Productions
Hazel Park, Michigan

Mixed by Brother Hallow 

The Jakubowski Cabin, Schoolcraft County, Michigan

Engineer
David Jakubowski

Mastered by Dave Feeny Tempermill Studios
Ferndale, Michigan

Recorded in Michigan

*

Six Tracks

driftwood2_green.png
driftwood1_cream.png

Listen on:

Tracks

01

00:00 / 03:47

02

00:00 / 04:34

Brian's Song 

David Jakubowskikeys, vocals;  James Ohngrendrums, vocals; 

Sarah Reznichbass guitar, vocals;  Eric Scharveracoustic guitar, lead vocals;

03

00:00 / 05:52

04

00:00 / 06:40

Young Love 

David Jakubowskivocals;  James Ohngrentambourine, wood-block, vocals; 

Sarah Reznichvocals;  Eric Scharveracoustic guitar, synth, lead vocals;

05

00:00 / 03:57
00:00 / 03:06

Lucky Me 

David Jakubowskitrombone, vocals;  James Ohngrendrums, shakers, vocals; 
Sarah Reznich
bass guitar, vocals;  Eric Scharveracoustic guitar, lead guitar, lead vocals;

Better Mornings  

James Ohngrendrums;  Sarah Reznichbass guitar, vocals; 
Eric Scharveracoustic guitar, lead vocals;  Niko Eklundbanjo, chimes, vocals;

Family Tree 

David Jakubowskitrombone, vocals;  James Ohngrendrums, jingle bells, tambourine, old box; 

Sarah Reznichelectric guitar, vocals;  Eric Scharveracoustic guitar, bass guitar, harmonica, lead vocals;

Empty Nest 

David Jakubowskielectric guitar, trombone, vocals;  James Ohngrendrums, jingle bells, tambourine;  Sarah Reznichbass guitar, cello, lead vocals;  Eric Scharveracoustic guitar, lead vocals;

06

 
BandBeach3_Edited.jpg

Introducing

Brother Hallow

"We might be telling stories about the mourning period following our friend’s death but these same stories are the origins of many relationships, loves, & even this band."

–James

“We might be telling stories about the mourning period following our friend’s death but these same stories are the origins of many relationships, loves, and even this band.”

—James

“In the moments our loss seemed unbearable we could always call each other; get together in Dave’s little studio and put that emotion directly onto the record.”

—Sarah

“As time passed, what was broken became this mosaic of pain and happiness.”

—Eric

The Process

From Dave

 

When Eric approached the band with these songs, he did it in his usual fashion; he played the damn things. He essentially walked into the studio one day and started laying down scratch tracks for what would eventually become Better Mornings. He told us he had been cultivating these tunes for some time. He believed he had the beginnings of a record about the loss of a friend, he needed to get it off his chest, and he was asking for our help. So we did what family does. We jumped on the bandwagon.


We converted a lot of pain into hope while working on this album. At times, it felt as though the process could break me and at times, it was difficult to finish. Maybe it's what the songs are about, the story they tell and the realization we are all vulnerable. Maybe it's because I know the people these songs are about or maybe it's because I was going through my own personal struggles. 


I hope we are telling a story of people who have touched us, broken us, the way we may have broken others ourselves and are trying to find a way out, a better way of living. Better Mornings will never make up for the loss that spawned it but through creating it we have become better people. Mistakes, hard times, perseverance, love, friendship, family, & understanding are what I believe the stories of this album represent.

From Eric

 

I remember the sound. It was Alicia, Brian’s partner, knocking on the door. It was soft yet urgent, as though something important was behind it. I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to hear, no one ever is. When I answered, the words were already choking out of her. I could only ask “what?” over and over again in different tones as if they were different questions. Her heart was broken. She was scared and alone, still, somehow she made her way over to tell me Brian had died. I may never appreciate a gesture as much. 

 

There’s a long story of love, confusion and hurt from before Brian’s death; a time I struggled with immensely. Life felt hard already and the realization I had lost my friend and collaborator to an honorable but arduous fight with addiction had shattered so much. As time passed, what was broken became this mosaic of pain and happiness. New friendships were created through loss, I had a baby on the way and I was actively dealing just like everyone else. There was barely any time to heal when Ian, Brian’s oldest brother, passed away as well. There’s nothing I could write that would detail the shock and disbelief of losing another close friend and I certainly won’t try to express it on behalf of their family. As anyone who has lost someone unexpectedly will tell you, a loss of this magnitude creates a great deal of confusion but alongside that confusion, a new beautiful memory of a friend. Better Mornings was written amidst the chaos and beauty of that time.

From James

Eric, like many skilled songsmiths, is known to pluck certain cinematic or literary gems from his life then place them into his lyrics. So when Brian passed, I knew Eric’s next set of songs would be of a deeply vulnerable nature. How could they be anything else? We were going to attempt to pay tribute to a lost friend and to our community, the people who  picked us up after his death. The subject matter is, to say the least, delicate.

 

I must admit I had some reservations about this record at the onset. Were we the band to tackle such sensitive material? Is the material itself too depressing to maintain an entire album? But then I realized I was looking at it in far too narrow of terms. These songs, much like Brian’s life, are at times tragic but far more often they are triumphant, joyous, and hopeful.

 

Admittedly there is grief and loss all over this record but there are appealing melodies and haunting pop-inspired vocal arrangements all over it as well. I hope that will be regarded as Better Morning’s greatest strength; its ability to play happy for sad. We might be telling stories about the mourning period following our friend’s death but these same stories are the origins of many relationships, loves, and even this band.

 

From Sarah

 

I thought, at first, Eric wanted to do a solo acoustic album for these songs, since they were so personal/sensitive.

Having been affected by Brian and Ian’s passing, and as a band mate, I knew I wanted to help support these songs anyway I could, be it vocals or instrumentally.

 

The making of Better Mornings gave our band a sort of shelter from the grief. In the moments our loss seemed unbearable we could always call each other; get together in Dave’s little studio and put that emotion directly onto the record.  It felt greater than recording an album. It was a lifeline.

I teared up many times throughout the process, for many reasons. I could relate to Eric’s lyrics, especially “Empty Nest”. Those particular words have a way of getting in and digging out the pain we refuse to let go.

 

Eric had these songs inside him. He told the band he had to get them out.  I really wanted to be a part of that because I was feeling the sadness too and I wanted to get it out. This album really helped me in that regard. It feels so good to have a sad song you can relate to and cry to when you gotta get it out. It’s a beautiful way to release the tension from the pain you’re feeling.

“We might be telling stories about the mourning period following our friend’s death but these same stories are the origins of many relationships, loves, and even this band.”

—James

“Mistakes, hard times, perseverance, love, friendship, family, & understanding are what I believe the stories of this album represent.”

—Dave

trees_olive_Sun-05.png
Cat_Edited_3x2.png
James_Edited_4x5.png
Dave_Edited 5x4.png
Shack_Edited_4x5.png

Mixing the Record

Schoolcraft County, Michigan

BridgeReflection_Web.jpg
SarahandJames_Web.jpg
driftwood4_green.png
Beach_Edited_4x5.png
Eric_Guitar_edited.jpg
SarahandHank_Web.jpg
Frog_Edited_Web.png
driftwood3_green.png
Relaxed_Webjpg.jpg

Our Philosophy

Brother hallow is a roots rock and soul band attempting to marry rhythm, melody and literary lyrical style to create the ideal story telling circumstances. As a band, they believe pop songs are the most efficient way to a person's heart and mind. This is essentially the principle Brother Hallow was formed around—a genuine effort to place songs, songwriting, and pop music into the tradition of literature.

bridge_Edited_3x2.png