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MP3 Brighton, MA - ROCK: 60's Rock

A mixture of orchestral pop, 60''s nostalgia and indie rock sensibilities.

6 MP3 Songs
ROCK: 60''s Rock, FOLK: Modern Folk

Brighton, MA is a band from Chicago, IL which could, at first glance, seem confusing. The band''s name is a reference to the town singer/songwriter Matthew Kerstein was born in, and is as much a general statement about nostalgia and "going home again" as it is an actual location. The band comprises five members: Kerstein, guitarist Jim Tuerk, guitarist Devon Bryant, bassist Matt Priest and drummer Sam Koentopp. Their self-titled debut record finds these strong musical personalities blending with easy camaraderie to paint backdrops for Kerstein''s mature songs of warning and optimism.

The band was effectively formed when Kerstein made the decision to leave up-and-coming Chicago group The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir whose debut record was selected as one of the Best Local Releases of 2003 by Jim DeRogatis (Chicago Sun-Times) and Greg Kot (Chicago Tribune). The other members of Brighton, MA had also been involved in varying degrees with that band, so the reorganization was natural. Thanks to some of SYGC''s successes—headlining shows at Chicago''s Metro, Empty Bottle, Double Door, and Schubas, and opening sold out or near-capacity shows for bands like The Arcade Fire, Spoon, Of Montreal, Feist, The Walkmen, Violent Femmes, The Fiery Furnaces, Okkervil River and The Olivia Tremor Control—the initial momentum for Brighton, MA was established, and the band wasted no time preparing to record its eponymous debut.

The record was made over the course of 2006, recorded mostly at Steve Albini''s Electrical Audio in Chicago. The songs were rehearsed, pushed and pulled over the course of the recording process; some were re-tracked to fall in line with the newer live versions, while others began to dictate the sound of their live counterparts. By the time the record came to be mixed at Chicago''s Clava/4 Deuces, a bulk of tunes for the band''s second record were written and ready to rehearse. Brighton, MA believes that a band''s success is measured by the quality of their songs and recorded output. In a sense, their ethic is more of a throwback to the late 60''s and early 70''s groups from which they draw much of their inspiration.

The band has played many shows over the course of their first year, sharing the stage with the likes of Tapes ''n Tapes, Man Man, Tilly & The Wall, The Essex Green, Isobel Campbell, The M''s, and Maritime, and gaining new fans in New York, DC, Madison, Indianapolis, Iowa City and elsewhere. Their first year as a band has been capped with the completion of their first record and a mini-tour of the East Coast ending with an appearance at the CMJ Music Festival. With somestudio time already booked to begin the second record, Brighton, MA stands poised to become America''s new rock and roll go-to boys.


"To understand that Kerstein is a talent to be watched, one need only listen to the track "Bet You Never Thought", one of the best songs I’ve heard from a local pop band in quite some time." - Don Bartlett (Chicago Innerview)

"Matthew Kerstein, formerly of Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, has perhaps eclipsed his previous band with his new project Brighton, MA, whose upcoming self-titled debut features some truly gorgeous pop nostalgia" - Tom Lynch (New City Magazine)

“''Bet You Never Thought'' comes from a distinct perspective: that of clear-eyed romantics with faith in off-beat rock to unite the culturally disenfranchised…" - Noel Murray, The Onion (Chicago)

“Singer/guitarist Matthew ''Boston'' Kerstein possesses a terrific, ragged, punk-like voice, not to mention some great lyric writing skill, as his songs range from the beautifully tender to surprisingly energetic and passionate.” - Adrien Begrand, Pop Matters

"...the quintet benefits from leader Matthew Kerstein''s marriage of simple, airy songwriting and Cure-like ambience. " - The Onion (Madison) (a.v. club recommended show!!)

“...he (Kerstein) growls like a young, slightly intoxicated Shane MacGowan.” - Luke Hackney, Creem Magazine

“Matt Kerstein sounds like the spawn of Joe Strummer.” - Chicago Reader

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