photos by Paul Isgard
Recently, I’ve found myself bouncing around a new term in my head, one that I think really encapsulates a pattern I’ve been seeing in music. This pattern isn’t really anything new, but I’ve decided to call this pattern, “musical inflation”. There are literally hundreds of new songs coming out every day, but how many of them are genuinely a “new” sound? Everything sounds the same, and to really find something original, you would have to spend hours combing through the various SoundCloud, Spotify and Pandora stations to find something interesting.
This all might come across flagrantly snobby. Don’t get me wrong, I am unabashedly a fan of pop music, but I remember first getting into garage rock and rockabilly as a teenager and I have to admit to feeling this way. I’ve ruined much of music for myself because as proud as a musical group may be of their organic sound and raw vocals, often it is still just not enough to stand out from the crowd.
Which brings me to the Brooklyn based band Bernadette, who are slated to release their first ever EP Shadow Paint on September 7th. Debuting as a small indie rock band in 2018 is no joke. It feels like there is a new group premiering every night at Rough Trade, and most of them sound the same. But as jaded as I am, I want Bernadette to make it because they remind me of how much I loved head banging around my room to The Black Keys and Bryce Fox when I was 18 years old and didn’t even have the Shazaam app yet.
Bernadette is fun, irreverent, and maybe a little angsty, especially in their single “Forever an Instance” which showcases lead singer Ricci Swift who’s voice would have been perfectly at home back when vinyl wasn’t just for show.
Bernadette is good, really good even, but that’s not the question. The real question is, do they have staying power?