If you follow the Canadian pop beat as closely as I do, it’s more likely than not that you’ve been hearing Rebecca Binnendyk’s name a lot more frequently as of late. That’s mostly because of the hype surrounding Binnendyk’s new album Brick by Brick and specifically its title track, which is out now in both the single and music video formats and has been racking up accolades at home and abroad. “Brick by Brick” is easily this songwriter’s most profound and complete recording so far, and much like the stronger tracks featured on the 2016 disc Some Fun Out Of Life, its bears an originality that is becoming harder to come by in contemporary pop.
Unlike some of her past work, this single (and especially its music video) doesn’t have much of an indie edge. The instrumental arrangement is very streamlined, the video is produced like something that you would typically see from a major label artist, and Binnendyk carries herself with such a confident, almost aristocratic demeanor that one is tempted to compare her sound here to some of the most iconic in the North American pop songbook. Beneath all of the bells and whistles, she’s still a very homespun singer/songwriter, but there’s no mistaking this creation for that of an unrefined amateur.
I would really like to hear a stripped-down version of “Brick by Brick” sometime in the future; just Rebecca Binnendyk, a guitar and the harmonies that the two could spark inside of a small, smoky club somewhere. She’s got the charm of an old world crooner, and I don’t know that all of her attributes are being exploited to their full potential in this rendition of the song, or really anything that she’s released. Her vintage vibes are always the strongest of any in her music, and I don’t think she should shy away from indulging in them a little more often.
2019 has been all about big, bombastic music videos, but the video for “Brick by Brick” isn’t as theatrically chill-inducing as it is artistically thought-provoking. I don’t doubt that producers spent a chunk of change on making it look like a glitzy pop video, but that’s not what has kept me coming back to it on a regular basis since watching it for the first time; if anything, it’s the relationship between the imagery and the vocal harmonies that gives me the most excitement here. It’s not super experimental, but it’s definitely not conventional by any means.
Sweet, thoughtful and authentically emotional, this song and its video are a huge step forward on the creative front for Rebecca Binnendyk, and though I’m sure that they contain only a sample of what Brick by Brick is going to offer us, I’m more than satisfied with what they present on their own. Binnendyk is taking the country by storm this summer, and if you weren’t already keeping tabs on her, you’re going to want to start now. She’s on the cusp of something big here, and I think we’re going to know just how big it will become within the next year or so.