The secret is out and there is no getting around the fact that Brandon Jenner is an immensely talented musician, specifically as a songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist. And at only 37, he is just getting started with expressing himself as an artist and building upon a no-frills legacy that has much to say.
In an era when celebrities are conspicuously and meticulously image-conscious, the easygoing Malibu native simply lives his life in the moment without the need to cater to others and earn “Likes.” He carries on modestly and affably, with a reverence for his loved ones and his passions, one of the biggest of which is music. He composes and sings songs not for fame, but because he frankly loves it. As such, in cases like this, it’s remarkable how personable one can be by not “performing,” but by simply “being,” and the grounded Jenner elicits a support as genuine as he is.
Jenner is gaining momentum as a solo artist, having previously released the albums, Burning Ground in 2016 and Face the World in 2018. As a sort of prelude to his third album, Plan on Feelings, which will be released on June 14th, Jenner recently released a soul-baring single entitled “Death of Me.” Written and recorded in Jenner’s home studio, with the music video also shot on his property, the three-minute-and-forty-one-second song has an unmistakable authenticity to it that simmers rhythmically and lyrically. There’s the sense we’re getting a no-holds-barred, emotionally expressive Brandon here, who is not apprehensive about letting others into his personal world — unguarded and marked by imperfections.
Without question, it makes us relate to Brandon on a level that is unanimously real for many who have been in relationships that didn’t just seem too good to be true, they were. Needless to say, there is no worse betrayal than giving yourself completely and unabashedly to a romantic partner, only to have that trust not only subverted but upended upon discovering the individual you thought you knew never really existed. However, what if you know in the back of your mind that the worst may come to pass, but you nonetheless stay in such a relationship, trading in the reaping of your future for the fruits of the present?
This is Brandon’s existential dilemma, the layers of which are eventually peeled back to his symbolic detriment in the colorfully vivid music video of “Death of Me,” directed skillfully by Z Berg and Drew Fuller. It begins with the foreshadowing of Jenner’s fictionalized fate when a bathtub is filled with water, followed by a montage of an idyllic love story between him and a femme fatale in disguise, portrayed by actress Margaux Brooke. They drive blissfully along the hills of Malibu with the ocean skyline overhead, dance under Jenner’s gazebo and in his mirror-decked yurt (a round tent-like structure of Central Asian origin), and share impassioned embraces before the nefarious intentions of Brooke’s persona become clearer. Happiness turns into an abrupt tragedy as Jenner’s likeness is poisoned and left to drown in his own tub, his hand resignedly limp over the edge, as the swelling water drips onto the bathroom floor.
Musically, “Death of Me” is just as interesting when either examined holistically with the music video or taken apart lyrically. There is a pleasant calmness to the pop-rock melody that picks up with a captivating chorus that is keyboard-synth-flavored and appealingly percussive, which never becomes brashly strident even though it has reason to given the subject material. Instead, we’re taken along a lucidly undisturbed narrative with insightful words that set the tone as in, “Feelin’ kind of naughty/they circle ‘round your body/so entranced by your heartbeat,” which then forebodingly yield reflections such as “I’d love to have you all to myself but somehow I know I would end up dead.” We get the impression that Jenner sees how one can enjoy life’s intimate pleasures for what they are despite the heartbreak or destruction that possibly looms not too far behind. Love does not discriminate in who it blinds and the lyric, “I’m just so preoccupied with being satisfied/my eyes practice being discreet,” conveys that profoundly. Taken further, the line, “I’m just sizin’ up your love/the pain I’m thinking of/is it worth something so damn sweet?” solidifies an element of premeditated contemplation existing side by side a clouded judgment in the thrall of love. All in all, the song, which is vocalized with a crystal-clear tonality and diction, is a thoughtful commentary on the notion that sometimes the greatest deed in loving another will go catastrophically unpunished. Of course, sometimes the risk in doing so generates a reward more lucrative than all the world’s riches, which is why it’s ultimately worth taking.
From a personal and professional standpoint, “Death of Me” is a prospect that pays off substantially for Brandon Jenner, a high-caliber musician with an incisive message. As Caitlyn Jenner and Linda Thompson’s proud and upstanding son, he has become a bona fide artist, steadfast in his humility, and unencumbered by the trappings of celebrity, to remain the friendly guy next door with a guitar and a golden voice.
To watch Brandon Jenner’s official music video of “Death of Me,” visit YouTube
To download or stream the song (and future album, Plan on Feelings) on various platforms, go here
And to check out Brandon Jenner’s website, visit brandonjennermusic.com