Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer Wil Brookhart put out his debut EP “Flight Risk” on June 18th 2020. With seven features, it’s a delicious amalgam of modern genres from R&B to lo-fi hip-hop to pop, even adding in a pinch of math rock. The Austin native, currently residing in Denton while studying double bass at UNT, stirs in his vast array of influences into a savory main course meal of mingled grooves and flavorful melodies. Yet just as each bite of “Flight Risk” tastes unique, it’s crowning achievement is keeping a consistent tone amid the eclecticism.
Any of the individual tracks are strong enough to be singles but “February” and “Summer Bleeding” do stand as out catchy summer morsels. Many voices can be heard on this record but Brookhart allows his music to naturally grow out beyond him, then crafts it to shape his distinct vision. Leila XY, who is featured on four out of the five tracks, consistently exudes clarity, grounding her performances with bright and buoyant vocal melodies. Lucas Wassmer soulfully harmonizes with her on “Prove Me Crazy”, as T.W.I.N. soon comes in rapping an emotional perspective on how one’s mindset is altered when away from loved ones. With help from Katie Butler, Brookhart’s own vocals sustain “Carrie”. While Leila XY and Butler close out the EP on the contemplative title track. As a composer, arranger, and player, Brookhart’s musical abilities are clearly evident but his ability to weave various genres, voices, and ingredients into a cohesive palette make him an even more exciting producer.
As current situations have made many artists have to drastically change their process, Brookhart and his compatriots were already creating and collaborating virtually. “Flight Risk” came together using the relatively new music streaming platform Quadio, which connects nationwide college students and facilitates artistic collaboration. All the features are university students, and in true college fashion the majority of the EP was written between 11:00 pm and 4:00 am. Polished mixing and mastering from Jamison McMackin, working under the name Glacier City Sound, majorly assist the contemporary and intentional feel, while cover art from Leah Bury (@leah.creative) grounds the work in a tranquil charm.
Overall, Brookhart’s debut finds itself snuggled somewhere in between Social House, Maggie Rogers, and Frank Ocean. As all these components come together, all I can say is…my compliments to the chef! Stream “Flight Risk” on all your favorite streaming platforms!