PORTLAND, OREGON-BASED NORTHWEST SOUL BAND MY BROTHERS AND I DELIVER AN ECLECTIC MIX OF POP ON THEIR DEBUT, DON’T DREAM ALONE (EXPUNGED RECORDS); SET FOR NATIONAL RELEASE ON SEPTEMBER 18, 2015
July 31, 2015 by J!-ENT
You could call them “Northwest soul.” You could call them “indie-pop.” What it boils down to is that My Brothers and I bring a wide range of influences to their music, creating sounds that are melodic, soulful, and danceable on their debut full-length LP, Don’t Dream Alone. This eleven-track collection is comprised of warm vocal harmonies, luscious grooves, and undeniable melodies.
“We’re influenced by pop, hip-hop, the blues, Motown, funk, and soul — but we wouldn’t place ourselves under a single umbrella,” says bassist Erik Wurgler. “This album has soul. We’re influenced by modern artists and the classics. Our songs fit into the current musical landscape but with throwback vibes.”
Comprised of brothers David (lead vocals), Erik (bass/vocals), and Scott Wurgler (drums), as well as childhood friends Jordan Roach (guitar) and Johnny Iliyn (keys/vocals), the quintet follows up their debut, digital-only EP, Live Sessions, with Don’t Dream Alone, set for release September 18th on Portland indie label Expunged Records. Recorded at Miracle Lake Studios with Skyler Norwood at the helm (who’s produced Blind Pilot, Priory and Horsefeathers), the album brings the energy that floods their live performance.
“We did record two songs from our live EP — “Nowhere to Run” and “Fly Away” — on this record. But, in the studio you focus on every detail, so those songs really developed into something special on this record,” recalls Wurgler. “Overall, we think a studio recording is always going to be more precise than a live recording. The challenge is to bring and capture the same energy from a live recording in the studio – and Skyler did an amazing job of that.”
Titled Don’t Dream Alone, the album represents the idea of dreaming unselfishly. “People dream for themselves everyday,” comments lead singer David Wurgler, “but when you dream with or for other people amazing things can happen.” Don’t Dream Alone is the dream – and voice – of five individuals, rather than one driving songwriter in the band, working as a true collective to create each song.
“I think the best part of being a band is that you collaborate. This album is a combination of how these songs sounded in all of our heads, so naturally some ideas stayed while others had to be left behind. But we are all absolutely amazed by the final product; it’s something we’re all very proud of,” says Scott Wurgler, drummer and eldest brother.
Driven by the mighty, yet soothing soul voice of David Wurgler, it’s no wonder that when people first listen to My Brothers and I, they’re drawn in by his silky, alluring call. “The vocals and harmonies are the highlights of this record,” states Erik. “Unleashing David in the vocal booth was special. This was David’s first time ever recording in a studio. Multiple times he would do something with his voice and we’d look at each other in awe.”
Album highlights include the bright album opener “Dream,” the upbeat love song “Maddy Brown,” the late-night, dark soul of “Na Na Na,” the subtle funk of “Stay Here,” and the sparse and haunting album closer, “Scars.” Singing “Somebody scared of the light, now that’s a tragedy”, the affecting number really drives the album home, leaving you with a feeling of warmth, while opening up your mind and getting you to really think about what you’ve just experienced.
“Being scared of the light could mean a lot of things,” says David Wurgler. “It can represent being scared of change, taking risks, or stepping outside your comfort zone, even if it is for the best. But those are all things we need to do in order to live a purposeful life.”
My Brothers and I have stepped outside their comfort zone with Don’t Dream Alone, pushing themselves to bring out their best, working hard to create an album that will resonate with listeners of multiple genres. This is a record for music fans, by music fans.
“We don’t know who people will compare us to,” Scott says. “So far it’s all over the map, so we hope that means we have a unique sound. We think it depends what you focus on as a listener.”
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