Bern and the Brights, a chamber-pop-rock band from Montclair, New Jersey, sounds like Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s meets Ra Ra Riot… but they don’t. One of the main singers’ voices sounds like the lead in Coheed in Cambria… but they don’t sing about the same things. This band dances between lines and dodges genres in their new album, Swing Shift Maisies.
The EP is short, only four songs, but Bern and the Brights cram a lot of sound into that space. They start off with song “Boo,” which initially seems like a slower rock song with only a steady guitar strum and a single melancholy violin. Then the soothing voice comes in, reminiscent of an old mother singing her child to sleep in a stirring movie on Lifetime (I realize that doesn’t sound very good written out but trust me, the vocals are lovely). Of course the song finishes slightly more up-tempo, which sets the stage for the rest of the album.
Their stand-out track, “Sleepless Aristotle,” rings with a catchy chorus that won’t become sickening after a few weeks, unlike most pop songs on the radio: “Who told you to stay awake at night? / Who told you to stay awake at night?”
The band itself is pretty simple. Guitars, drums, a violin, sensational vocals, fantastic songwriting… and that’s just the four songs on the EP. One could only imagine what Bern and the Brights could do with a longer album or a concert. Which is highly recommended to buy or see.