Topher James & Biscuit Brigade examine life on These Walls

By: Alex D.

On March 18, Topher James & Biscuit Brigade released These Walls, a conscious four-track EP that discusses the frustration and duty we have to recognize the world around us and its oppressive nature while working to “be the change.”

 Artwork for  These Walls . (Photo courtesy of:  topherjames.bandcamp.com )

Artwork for These Walls. (Photo courtesy of: topherjames.bandcamp.com)

These Walls opens up with “World Is Broken (Version 2),” which is an alternative version of the single Topher James released in August 2017. While the original was more open and conversational, this version rides a tight groove, and James takes a more direct and clear approach to the central message. He asks us if the world is as broken as he feels it is or if it is all in his head.

The next track is “Pre-Packaged Life,” a soulful tune in which James explores his privileges and how they have shaped his view of the world. With lines like, “Moving on from this manicured lawn,” and “How do I pay this fortune forward?” it is evident that James wants to affect some change in the world.

“Like Some Award” is a dancy song about cutting loose and enjoying the time we are given with a lover. When I first heard this, it felt like a good cookout was happening just outside the studio where it was being recorded.

The last track is “This Institution,” and in it James calls for us to examine the systems we are a part of and to do something to affect them in a positive way. “There’s gotta be a better way,” is a resonating lyric that leaves listeners on a contemplative note.