SONG PREMIERE: Doctor Imposter Grapples with Exhaustion Through Sparse Indie Pop Beats on “Failure”

Brooke C. Vettese is DOCTOR IMPOSTER. The in-demand, indie producer and beatmaker; mix engineer; and sought-after, multi-instrumentalist session and live musician steps forward as an artist with an assured self-titled debut. The Brooklyn-based artist/producer’s 12-song album is a conceptual collection of exhilarating urban electro-pop that, through a dystopian video game metaphorical overlay and video game-vibing sonic accoutrements, explores the path and plight of women musicians and producers in a still-male dominated profession.

The juxtaposition inherent in the name DOCTOR IMPOSTER speaks to a disquieting dynamic many feel based on their gender, sexual identification, or their racial and cultural identities. A cross-section of accomplished professionals are often marginalized in their fields, and feel an “imposter syndrome” even though they have prime credentials and experience. Despite the weightiness of the narrative, DOCTOR IMPOSTER is frisky, catchy, and dance-y.

Brooke is a full-time musician who produces out of the studio she built herself. Over the past 7 years, she’s produced dozens of groups. Outside of the studio, Brooke performs live regularly with future-R&B group Cool Company, indie-folk band The Good Folks, and prog-rock band Pinkie Promise. DOCTOR IMPOSTER humanizes the person behind beats by presenting them as an artist in the tradition of albums by Mark Ronson and Tokimonsta. Brooke wrote, recorded, produced and mixed all the music for the album, and, aside from a few guitar parts and horn-lines, she played all the music on the record. Throughout the album, she explores a distinct aesthetic that encompasses R&B, hip-hop, and electro-pop.

The eponymous album will be preceded by the single “Failure”, which we are excited to premiere on Glide ahead of its release this Friday, July 10th. Set to a catchy breakbeat, Brooke grapples with the state of her career as she reels from the exhaustion that results from always feeling she has to prove her mettle because she’s a woman. Though we feel this coming across in the lyrics, the sparse instrumentation actually elevates the music to feel sort of euphoric, as if she is using these feelings to move on to a higher plane of self-reflection. The beat is simple yet danceable, making for a timely piece of indie pop that speaks to our times of disenfranchisement and being jaded by bad experiences. 

Brooke describes the inspiration behind the song:

“The song ‘FAILURE’ dives into the fears many artists have at one time or another. It’s hard not to second guess yourself as a musician, and I wrote this song when I was stuck in a state of self-doubt. I felt like I was a failure in the eyes of everyone around me, strangers and friends alike.

I wrote the song in 30 minutes and made the production and beat much more sparse than my normally dense productions. When I listened back to what I had made, I felt that apathetic tone coming through the sparse production in addition to the lyrics/performance. The chorus repeating ‘I won’t try, I won’t try anymore’ conveys a message that I’ve resigned myself to not being successful or putting in any more effort.

Once I figured out the concept of my album, ‘FAILURE’ seemed like a perfect turning point on my journey. I went back to the song and added a bridge that emphasized self-reflection and self-acceptance in a way that changed the meaning of the song by the end of it. The last chorus repeating ‘I won’t try anymore’ becomes a positive message- I will no longer try to please others with my art or work. What I make is who I am and I should be proud. And if nothing else, the drum beat makes you want to move a little!

LISTEN:

Photo credit: Steph Dispoto

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