Brighton, MA

Brighton, MA, refers to the birthplace of Matthew Kerstein, and in his own words represents the sense of “going home again.” An air of nostalgia certainly wafts through the five songs on their self-titled debut EP, out next week. On “Ballad for Coolhand” Kerstein re-visits a younger, naive look towards the future, “How you planned to live free and simple/VW bus for the ride/and you chased your hopes on Down Street/live by the beach and get high.” There’s a hint of Irishness in Kerstein’s delivery and coupled with soaring instrumentation it prompts occasional flashes of U2. This sound is most prevalent on “Bet You Never Thought,” a track originally recorded when Kerstein, Devon Bryant and Sam Koentopp played with the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, but re-worked for this EP. Kerstein’s earnest singing cuts through a dense swirl of guitars. As the song progresses more guitars rush in and the Edge gives way to Kevin Shields. I suspect their folk-gazing anthems will easily win fans as the band works its way into the national consciousness.

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