Restating my opinion on the current Brooklyn music scene would be redundant,Â but here goes: itâ€™s often too minimalist and thereâ€™s too much bashing of things together in the hope of discovering something amidst the chaosâ€”style over substance. It reminds me of lo-fi pageantry and self-congratulations on your job well done. Itâ€™s stage art. This is a generalization of course, but itâ€™s also true in many cases. However, there are always exceptions, one of which is My Other Friend, a Brooklyn trio that sounds like a real, professional band. Andy, Holly, and Eli write good, solid songs that are extremely catchy and sound of-the-now, and theyâ€™re seemingly striving for something well-made, whichÂ I appreciate.
If you like Wolf Parade, youâ€™ll really enjoy Burning Bright Tonight. In a way, the comparison could be detrimental because the similarities are strong and you notice them right away, but I guess that depends on how much you care (me, not so much), because regardless, the music is great. Itâ€™s their first LP but it sounds as if theyâ€™ve been doing this for years, evidenced first by the opening track, â€œWedding Day.â€ Itâ€™s a slow burner that escalates from a sweet longing to a full-bore of unrequited yearning, which is a common theme throughout the album. But it works because you feel like they really mean it. The standouts for me are, â€œI Have Always Thought That You’ve Been Running,â€ â€œCollectors,â€ and â€œAfraid of the Modern Day,â€ just because theyâ€™re stormers that really get me pumped. A large part of the appeal of this album for me is Andyâ€™s guitar work; itâ€™s full of warmth, subtlety, and urgency. And many of the songs are peppered with Hollyâ€™s bright vocals that add a distinct contrast to Andyâ€™s brooding, while Eliâ€™s drumming is fantastically spastic and on-point.
The songs are complex, yet they play-out in such an organic nature that the album is a real pleasure to listen to. I highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy that atmospheric Montreal sound of Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade. Still, itâ€™s different, itâ€™s local, and itâ€™s cool.