A friend of mine invited me to a show on Friday night at Skinny’s Ballroom for a bunch of bands I hadn’t heard of, so I decided to do some exploring. Two of the bands sound interesting and promising: The Loblolly Boy and Lord Buffalo. The headliners, though, jumped out immediately. BRIDGES, a group of self-described “coffeeshop friends,” is only a few months old, but already has a pair of demo songs that radiate promise. A friend of mine described them as Jose Gonzales meets Architecture in Helsinki, and I think that’s actually a great way to think about them. They have the acoustic-based mellowness of Gonzales, and the whimsy, wordplay and singalong hooks of AiH.
“Days With Wings” is a great song, with an array of different instruments – violins, glockenspiel, etc – creating an ever-expanding soundscape with a great forward momentum. And while I’m not really sure what they’re getting at with the closing lines, “We put our pilot’s goggles on / We put ’em on,” it still an emotionally affecting song from start to finish. The crazy thing is that their second song, “East” is even better. You’ll have to visit their bandcamp page to hear it, but it is well worth the trip. When singer Jesse Wooten says, “Tell me you miss me, you wish you were with me…it’s okay that we’re fuck-ups and freaks,” it’s hard not to respond. Wooten packs a bunch of lyrics into every second, but they remain incredibly compelling. When he sells his subject on an idyllic future in the latter half of the song, it’s easy to recognize that it will probably remain no more than a dream.
BRIDGES are currently at work on more material, and we should all be thankful for that. If these first two songs are any indication, there’s a lot more compelling listening material to come. You can see them this Friday night at Skinny’s Ballroom, and we’ll keep you informed of any more new material they come out with.