BRAEVES – Bitter Sea

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Sometimes pop music gets a bad rap from music lovers because it’s considered mainstream and thus all pop artists are apparently the same. I’ll agree with the critics to some degree, a lot of pop tunes do sound very similar. LA/NY based quartet, BRAEVES, is redefining pop music with a bit of an indie twist.

Childhood friends Ryan Colt Levy and Derek Tramont have joined forces with Thomas Killian McPhillips VII and Scott Goldbaum to create a pop sound that even music critics can get down with. With influences from indie-pop bands such as Grizzly Bear and Local Natives, the boys have created something I wouldn’t hate to hear on the radio.

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Their newest single, Bitter Sea, definitely sounds more LA than NY. It has a sunny, Cali vibe that would fit perfectly in a surfboard commercial. The song is a fresh new take on the band, straying slightly from their earlier works, but never losing the charm and innocence that they’ve established as a band.

Produced by Raymond Richards (Local Natives) and Dave Trumfio (Wilco, My Morning Jacket), the song is (obviously) extremely smooth and nearly flawless. It’s such an easy and enjoyable listen thanks in big part to the production. Everything from the vocals to the backing tracks mix perfectly together to create a track so appealing that I’m sure it’ll be one of the defining tunes that really put BRAEVES on the map.

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I always love a song that sounds like it means something different than the lyrics imply. The gently upbeat sound of the song makes you think it’s a happy-go-lucky tune. Maybe even a love song. But it’s not. If you pay close attention to the lyrics, “All my silent superstitions wrap around you like the coast. If I’m wide awake then why do I feel your ghost?”  These are a little darker than the notes and harmonies of the song would lead you to believe. I like a track that surprises you, and this one does that.

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