The first rigging chords of “The Space Between” set a bold, frantic, yet gentle pace. Brooke D. instantly reminds me of Nick Drake, the comparison requires a question. I ask Brooke if she’s a fan, and she retorts “I’m not, but I’ve been compared to him.” “She’d be a fan,” I thought to myself.
She adds to the strumming with an effervescent line, “Can there be love in the space between.” I’m instantly triggered to put on my Nick Drake hat, and get ready for the emotional ride.
She doesn’t disappoint.
Her playing shudders, like a drunken stumble. This is what she does best, unshrouding a bit of herself in subtle ways that communicate a very human side behind her effortless voice. It’s fitting that her next line vocalizes the feeling so curtly.
“Can I heal . . . even if I’m hurting?”
Another shudder, and the static chord changes – to a chord that implies questioning.
“What does love really mean?” She’s inviting us along to share the one sided question. One posed a million times before, whether it be from Will Shakespeare, Jane Austen, or countless supermarket tabloids, Teen Vogue ad nauseam. However, this is different.
”Is it even worth defining?” She seems a bit nauseated with the idea herself.
“Is love a question I don’t know the answer to . . . [pregnant pause] yet? Later she answers her own thoughts. “Is love anything? Don’t ask me. ”
She gives in to her own question, recognizing love’s ineffability ends the question, “Can there be love even if it’s just me?”
Brooke D. sifts through the mire of “Love” as a concept. We are enculturated, starting from youth, to believe in romance as a signifier of love. That the key ingredient of a lasting relationship is “romance,” monogamy, or the institution of marriage, only to recoil at the work, drudgery, and isolation that pops those bubbles of aforementioned illusion.
In the end, Brooke asks the most telling question of all. Maybe the most revealing. “Can there be love if it’s only me?”
Well, there certainly can’t be without you.
Maybe we can start from there?
FOLLOW Brooke D. on Instagram @brookedmusic
Photo by Kevin J. Alston