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Artist Spotlight: Brad Sucks

First of all, welcome back to Totally Free Music.  I pretty much took the summer off from blogging, but I'm hoping to get back to a more regular posting routine like I used to have.  I've still been listening to lots of great, free music, so there will never be a shortage of things to write about; the tricky part is finding time to write about it all.

Today I would like to feature an incredible source of free music. I find it incredible for a number of reasons: the quality, the variety, and the fact that it is all created by one man, Brad Turcotte, a.k.a. Brad Sucks, a.k.a. "a one man band with no fans."

The first thing I would recommend is downloading a copy of Brad's first album, I Don't Know What I'm Doing. The album starts off with the thumping, high energy dance beat of "Making Me Nervous", which gives way to the grungy "Look and Feel Years Younger". The mellower, acoustic-based "Fixing My Brain" is next, followed by the more aggressive "Bad Attraction", which finds Brad stepping out of his usual low-pitched vocals into a higher-pitched, Kurt Cobain-esque scream. The fact that the first four songs of the album are so different from one another is a tribute to Brad's undeniable talent, as he has taken elements from a variety of different genres and shown that he is equally at home with all of them.

The same level of quality is maintained throughout the entire album, and the variety makes every song a highlight in its own right. There is more acoustic-based rock in songs like "Sick as a Dog", "I Think I Started a Trend", and "Dirtbag" (which features an awesome, chilled-out coda); more energetic dance-infused rock in "Never Get Out" (which, along with "Making Me Nervous", has become a mainstay in my "biking" playlist on my cell phone, which I use to listen to music while I am cycling to and from work, and only gets populated with the most adrenaline-pumping songs I own); and a beautiful ballad in "Overreacting", which features an excellent guitar solo.

The songs are all expertly produced, with all of the instruments sounding very clean and crisp. A highlight of every song is the vocals, which are all multi-tracked, giving them a very distict sound and giving the entire album a very cohesive feel.

As great as I Don't Know What I'm Doing is, it is only the tip of the iceberg as far as Brad Sucks is concerned. Brad has been cool enough to make the source audio files for the entire album available, meaning that anyone is free to remix it or do whatever they would like with it. You can find dozens of remixes at, and Brad has taken his favourite remixes and made them available in the I Don't Know What I'm Doing Remixed compilation.  The source files themselves are available at

Even more music can be had by becoming a Brad Sucks Best Friend Forever. This will get you access to the Brad Sucks BFF message forum, as well as a selection of demos, remixes, covers, collaborations, and other "miscellaneous things of dubious quality." Again, it's all free, so you have absolutely nothing to lose (and, in my opinion, a whole lot to gain) by signing up. One of my favourite songs available in the BFF section is Brad's collaboration with nerdcore hip hop pioneer MC Frontalot, "Livin' at the Corner of Dude & Catastrophe"; avid Rock Band players may recognize this song, as it was released as downloadable content for that game just a couple of weeks ago, and has become one of my favourite songs to sing.  Hopefully it won't be the last Brad Sucks song available for that platform.

This post has been LONG overdue - in fact, I've been editing it on and off since the spring.  One of the things that prompted me to finally finish it was the release of Brad's second album, Out of It, just last Monday. I downloaded it the morning it was available, transferred it to my USB key so I could listen to it at work (since I don't have access to the internets at work), and... managed to forget to bring my USB key that day. The next day, however, I did remember, and Out of It has been in regular rotation in my work playlists ever since. I haven't had as much time to absorb the new album as I have his other material, but after a few days I have been very impressed with it. Out of It seems to take the best aspects of I Don't Know What I'm Doing and bring them to the next level; I have noticed a tighter integration between the acoustic, electric, and electronic aspects of the music, and the vocals are awesome as always. Some of my early favourites include the grungy "Fake It" (which was available as a pre-release single for a few weeks), the upbeat acoustic rocker "Bad Sign", and the beautiful ballad "Gasoline", which features a stunning, extended instrumental outro with some gorgeous keyboard sounds.

According to the web page for Out of It, the album has taken a "long, long, long" time to complete; having only discovered Brad's music earlier this year, I haven't had to wait too long for it, but it sounds so good that I have to believe it would be worth the wait no matter how long it's been. I wish Brad every success with this album, and I hope that it allows him to continue making awesome music for a long time to come.

Happy listening!