Ears Wide Open: Hoogenboom

Brandon Hoogenboom (Photo by Sierra Rose)

California native Brandon Hoogenboom launched his music career in Australia, as a busker and then as part of the band Set Sail, before returning to the U.S. a few years back. Since, he’s released a handful of solo material and been involved in other projects, including the duos Casual Vice and High Morale.

Now, releasing music simply as Hoogenboom, he’s hit his stride with the songs on his forthcoming debut album, “Good for Nothing (A Spiraling Blackout Montage),” out Feb. 11 via Rose Garden.

The album’s title might be a mouthful, but the music soars with clarity — finely crafted and atmospheric folk-pop inspired by the likes of Andy Shauf, Robin Pecknold and Father John Misty. He worked with producer Stefan Mac and engineer Bobby Krakowski on the record, toiling in a space adjacent to the producer’s studio. “It was a huge benefit to lock myself in a room and hunker down on this thing,” Hoogenboom says.

Warm harmonies and shimmering instrumentation inject the new single “The Violinist (Paralyzed & Penalized)” with emotional poignancy as Hoogenboom looks to assuage painful memories of a breakup that has left him “loath to love.”

Hoogenboom introduced the album in October with the upbeat “Skipping Town,” also a breakup song but this one inspired by an old bandmate who ghosted him. “It was a really strange scenario,” the songwriter says. “He skipped town, and the project was over. But songs like these are a way for me to process what I went through.”

||| Stream: “The Violinist (Paralyzed & Penalized)” and “Skipping Town”

||| Live: Brandon Hoogenboom plays Feb. 10 at Landers San Clemente.