Album Review: My Brothers And I - Don't Dream Alone

The Portland-based band My Brothers And I recently hit the road to share their stirring debut record with the masses. From start to finish, Don't Dream Alone is a record that feels good to listen to. The record plays like a soundtrack, and anyone that knows me well will tell you that I'm a sucker for this type of music. I feel "soundtrack music" is something you hear that propels everyday occasions into moments that are surreal. I had that very thing happen to me as I was listening to the track "Stay Here" for the first time. I was walking downtown before work when the song came on, and I must have played it on repeat 4 times before I got to the radio station. The debut effort from the band is going to provide plenty of soundtrack moments for any listener!

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The alternative pop band is comprised of brothers David Wurgler (lead vocals), Erik Wurgler (bass), Scott Wurgler (drums) and long time friends Jordan Roach (guitar) and Johnny Iliyn (keys). Producer Skyler Norwood and the band have created a timeless and inviting sound. Songs like "Maddy Brown" have a throw back, mid 50's vibe and allow room to showcase their polished vocal layers. I especially love the way they recorded the drums and percussion on the track "Fly Away". With headphones on, it sounds like you are in the middle of a room with the band and David's delivering the lyrics front and center. This is a really nice effect that drew me in and is just one of many that the band uses on the album. The guys have written songs that allow them to display their broad range of styles including soul, blues, and alternative rock. With the eleven songs on the album the band explores a wide range of emotions and ideas. 

One of the highlights of the record for me is the single "Dream". I have no doubt that this song will be a big part of my personal soundtrack in 2016. I was immediately hooked on this song and it's message. At it's core, music is important to me because it has the power to share ideas that connect us. The song "Dream" shares a message that is empowering and important for us to remember. I appreciate the message in the lyrics and the song is extremely fun to listen to.

Anyone who is a musician will appreciate the sonic quality of these recordings. As I mentioned above, the drums have a wonderful room sound that brings the songs to life. I found layer after layer of tasteful parts in each of the tracks. Every member of the band gets to shine on this record and there is almost a tangible connection in each of the songs. "Scars" is a particularly exposed song on the record where you can hear how proficiently David can vocally convey his ideas. This stripped down arrangement of a single piano, one voice, and a light string pad brings the listener in for an intimate close to the album. This record has heart and is entertaining all the way through. I'm excited to see how the record evolves for me over the coming months as I listen to it more. I highly recommend you get your copy of this remarkable debut effort from My Brothers and I. 

I have no doubt they will be picking up a lot of new fans on tour this spring. I can't imagine people hearing these danceable and memorable songs live and not being on board as a new fan. I'm looking forward to seeing the band at Mississippi Studios here in Portland on March 3rd and I hope to see you there! 

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Music ReviewsLuke Neill