BRANNON – Heartbreak Is Misery (2023)

BRANNON - Heartbreak Is Misery (2023) - full

In the years since their formation in 2014, BRANNON has released a total of six albums spanning from acoustic singer-songwriter to pop. But until now, songwriter Jonathon Brannon and singer David Cagle (LastWorld, JK Northrup) have only hinted at their ability to put together a fully-formed rock n’ roll album.
That all changes with ”Heartbreak is Misery”. The new album features fourteen attention-grabbing guitar-driven songs ranging from modern melodic rock to bluesy classic rock, Mixed & Mastered by ex King Kobra JK Northrup.
“This is your moment,” Cagle sings in the memorable opening lines of ‘We Are Powerful.’ The track serves as a mission statement – bold, defiant, and full of hooks. On the ensuing tracks, they demonstrate a versatile songwriting, from the moody ‘Hard Habit To Break’ to the power balladry of ‘Without You I’d Die.’

Brannon invites an impressive collection of guest artists to add their voices. R Reed makes notable appearances on both ‘Bad Love’ and ‘Goin’ For Mine’ also featuring Bobby John, while the Bowie-nod of ‘Life On Mars’ includes a great guest spot from Erika Schiff.
‘Bad Love’ features R Reed, who previouslt worked on a single called “I’m The Best” from one of Brannon’s other projects known as Radio Fly last year. There’s something of a Bon Jovi reference in this track, but also the entire record.

The warmth in the production of ‘All I See’ feels sincere and sets the stage for the Rock-ballad of sorts. Solid drums, solid musicianship, solid vocals… and lyrically, there’s a decent balance between genuine observations & heartfelt musings versus words that fit the rhyme scheme.
Title-track ‘Heartbreak Is Misery’. Quite honestly, I think Brannon got the very best out of this particular track…and in the first eight tracks of the fourteen total, I’d definitely point to the title-tune as being the ultimate single. He’s got a song that’s unarguably catchy, still very Brannon, and a stellar representation of what he’s capable of.

Great riffs in ‘Lie To Me’ and an energy that’s wildly untamed… all-in-all, I could see this track being one of the cuts that could potentially reach further than many of the rest and branching out Brannon’s audience a bit further.
‘Never Gone’ provides an epic album highlight, while ‘When The Heartbreak Is Over’ delivers big guitar chords rain down in Nickelback ‘How You Remind Me’ fashion. Bbig melodies, big vocal delivery, a huge guitar solo) give us arena rock pop goodness. Only fitting that one of the album’s simplest cuts stands out the most.
Each track is full of significant moments, right down to the cathartic final notes of closer ‘On My Way.’ David Cagle and his sonorous vocals provide a proper sendoff. ‘On My Way’ is the big finale built like a skyscraper, one story at a time. Each oncoming part is bigger than the one preceding it. Slowly building mass, after the guitar solo the song resets for round two. Sit back and watch the sparks fly. It’s the last song, it’s supposed to end that way.

”Heartbreak is Misery” is a very well rounded modern melodic rock record with a sound capable to appeal old and young fans of the genre.
Highly Recommended


01 – We Are Powerful
02 – Hard Habit to Break
03 – Without You I’d Die
04 – Bad Love (feat R Reed)
05 – All I See
06 – Off My Mind
07 – Never Gone
08 – Heartbreak Is Misery
09 – Lie to Me
10 – You Should Know Me Better
11 – Life on Mars (feat Erika Schiff)
12 – Goin’ for Mine (feat Bobby John & R Reed)
13 – When the Heartache Is Over
14 – On My Way

Jonathon Brannon – guitar, bass, keys
David Cagle – all vocals
JK Northrup – drums, guitar, keys



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