The new self-titled album by Bright Kind is technically the indie-leaning pop project’s debut record. However, 75 percent of the quartet has played together since 2008. In 2012, Jeanna Salzer Trio subtracted the proper noun from its name and added the synth services of Eric Klosterman. With the new name and member also came a new direction. In Bright Kind, the trio that was once unabashedly centered on the pipes and piano its namesake supplied has expanded with a wall of synthesizer-sourced sound brought by its fourth piece.
Recorded by Shane Hochstetler at Howl Street Recordings last December and mastered by Benjamin Forest, the expanded band’s long-awaited recorded introduction sees Salzer’s harnessed-while-formidable voice leading the multifaceted electronic-tinged indie-rock group. Klosterman’s backing is a welcomed addition to the project, and the irrefutably tight rhythm section composed of drummer Alex Bunke and Harrison Dole shines much brighter than that of any “backing band.” Milwaukee Magazine writer Kevin Mueller aptly likens Bright Kind to Poliça, “but without auto-tuned vocals”—a comparison best realized in the dark-yet-danceable “Bangles” and bass-y “Wish You Well.”
Even though Salzer’s name no longer takes top billing, her voice still does. Often multi-tracked and providing her own harmonies, the soulful singer shifts shape to match her counterparts, providing backing “bop”s to driving rocker “Harvest” and anchoring the jangling piano and walking bass employed on Great Lakes lounge closer “Runaway.” Bright Kind took something that wasn’t broken and fixed it anyway, with wonderful results. Don’t just take our word for it. Listen to it below, only at Milwaukee Record.
Bright Kind will release its debut digitally Tuesday, July 22. No Milwaukee release show is planned as of yet, but the band will play The Frequency (Madison) Monday, July 28 and Mile Of Music (Appleton) Friday, August 8.