Brighton MA — Billboard Sun EP

Band: Brighton MA
Album: Billboard Sun EP
Release Date: January 19, 2012
Free mp3: “Sweet Delusions” (’til February 2)

Not long ago, I’d considered introducing a friend to Brighton MA and their Billboard Sun. Its soars and gentle complexities seemed to nearly bind to the type of music I’d noticed a friend tended to be drawn to.

And then I balked at the idea, and I’ll tell you why. It isn’t because I don’t like Brighton MA. (That could never be true anyway — see question three.) Instead, it’s because Brighton’s music is so damn sexy. For whatever reason, then, I figured my tiny act of charity might be taken the wrong way.

You see, Brighton MA, as they are on their new EP at least, seem to make music steeped in romance. Not all positive and good, of course. In fact much of Billboard Sun is overseen by our hopeless romantic of a narrator. But romance, through and through. Sentimental rock.

Besides this truth, what separates Brighton MA from a lot of the other bands I write about here is the command of its lead vocalist. Matthew Kerstein throws a lot of weight around, and in so doing comes prepared with an attractive purpose. He projects beautifully, and so warmly.

As such, what Brighton MA had me doing was follow along to a collection of songs with a vocalist as its drum major. More often than not Matthew’s voice would initiate the climaxes, peak the builds. My attention would be trained on him because it had to be.

That is, of course, up to a point. About halfway through Billboard Sun’s seven tracks, a dramatic shift happens. At track five — “Sweet Delusions” — Matthew stays on, of course, but steps aside some as the other instruments in his atmosphere are given more to do.”Far Thee Well,” after humble beginnings, actually ends with two minutes of jam.

“Sweet Delusions,” though, is I think the best of the lot. It also happens to be the least Billboard Sun-like track on Billboard Sun, so that’s interesting. It’s loud, and brash — by Brighton MA standards, anyway — and is coated with a few surprises. The guitars, even, go fuzzy once things get going.


  • The Chicago-based Brighton MA is: Matthew Kerstein, Jim Tuerk, Sam Koentopp, Joe Darnaby and Jon Ozaksut.
  • Stream Billboard Sun EP on Bandcamp, or purchase for $5 (mp3s) or $10 (vinyl) | Bandcamp

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About Eric

Hello there. Email your things to chicagotunes[at]gmail[dot]com.
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