"I’m guessing a lot of you will relate to the subjects Gabriel finds fascinating, like how sometimes you can feel on solid ground, only to soon find yourself doubting everything. And then back again, on and on. I know I do. The single world that could perhaps best describe the ten tracks of Brigadune is “duality.” It’s about exploring ways to feel encouraged and also staring the hard times straight in the eye. It’s joy and it’s pain. It’s six tracks with words and four that are purely instrumental. It’s very much open to interpretation, which makes it rewarding."
"The music is primarily guitar driven, with many memorable riffs and solos. I like the outro of “You Decide.” The rhythm section certainly holds its own – for example, the drumming on “Guard Rail” – and there are flourishes of piano and and shifts in mood that broaden it from being a strictly rocking affair. The songs tell stories with lines that will make you notice and the instrumentals have a touch of the exotic and make it easy to ruminate and daydream, perhaps meditating on a message of another song or finding yourself in a new world altogether. Sometimes it feels like regal pop and other times it reminded me a little of Queens of the Stone Age (something about the chug and melodies of “Get A Grip”). Check out another nimble, riff-driven burner, “Soon."
"Music is often used as a mean of catharsis and in some albums it’s clearer than in others. It seems the conceptual Brigadune by Monuments is the latter, but you get hints throughout. There’s nostalgia (a staple of the sound they are using), there’s urgency (thanks to the electronic elements the band uses) and there’s swift changes of pace, possibly addressing those stop/start/stop feelings you get after the 20s are over and the 30s see some attitudes cement."
"Equally opposing are ‘Soon’, a lively track and ‘Bonfire’, a gorgeous acoustic track that adds some atmospherics sounds and harmonising. It’s a sweet moment of respite that has a slightly creepy ending that reverbs and fades out. It’s a great lead in to ‘Sole Provider’, the catchy song that could work as the first single to get some new believers to the cult of Monuments. It’s hook-laden and catchy; the wiggling worm hoping to catch your attention."
When Monuments front man Gabriel Berezin was writing the music for his new album’s title track, the word ‘Brigadune’ appeared in his mind and stuck there. When Berezin looked it up, he found that in its familiar spelling the word was also the title of a popular musical, Brigadoon, a metaphorical story about two New Yorkers that travel to the highlands of Scotland and happen upon a utopian town that only exists for a day every hundred years. To his surprise, this musical he’d never heard of was a parable about the fleeting nature of perfection. Those themes so closely echoed the themes in his new music that Berezin and band members Grant Zubritsky and Robbie Sinclair realized they’d found the title of their new album.
In a twist of fate, Gabriel Berezin was late to his job at the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001, thus his life was spared on that tragic day in lower Manhattan. Ever since, Berezin has been devoted to music in his search for meaning in chaos.
“A lot of these songs are about a paranoia of things falling apart,” says Berezin, “from elusive consciousness, to the impermanence of personal relationships, to the fleeting appeals of cults, to the stability of modern civilization.”
Brigadune is a concept album, with meditations on paradox. Some of these include the need to feel accepted coupled with the discomfort of groupthink, and living one moment in fear that society will crumble followed quickly by the excitement of getting sucked into the singularity. Berezin also ponders what it’s like to get older without starting a family while questioning the significance relationships have in the modern age. He tries to accept the illusion of control over his consciousness, only to find he is terrified at the places his mind goes in idle moments.
When it came time to make the record Berezin and multi-instrumentalist Grant Zubritsky (Nina Persson of The Cardigans, MSMR) co-wrote the music and played most of the parts. They recruited songwriter and drummer Robby Sinclair (Lazer Cake) to round out the sound, along with several guest musicians including Bryan Murray on saxophone (St. Vincent & David Byrne), Alistair Paxton on guitar (Stapleton), and Kamara Thomas on vocals (Earl Greyhound). The album was mix engineered by Bob Mallory (Kings of Leon, Bruno Mars).
released June 1, 2014
Gabriel Berezin (vocals, guitars)
Grant Zubritsky (bass, synthesizers, guitars)
Robby Sinclair (drums, percussion)
Frank LoCrasto (piano, synthesizers)
Amal Bouhabib (vocals)
Alistair Paxton (guitars)
Bryan Murray (saxophone)
Jeff Malinowski (vocals)
Kamara Thomas (vocals)
Richard Feynman (physics)
Bob Mallory (mix engineer)
Mike Judah (recording engineer)
Julian Silva (mastering engineer)
Matthew Maroulakos (recording engineer, studio head)
Produced by Grant Zubritsky & Gabriel Berezin
All lyrics written by Gabriel Berezin
All music written by Gabriel Berezin, Grant Zubritsky, & Robby Sinclair
Drum arrangement in "You Decide” by Mike Cook
Recorded at The Den in New Jersey & Gabe’s Apartment in Greenpoint, Bk
Cover Art: Tracy Maurice
Logo Design: Dan Redding
SPECIAL THANKS to Joshua & Patty Berezin, (Brady & Connor), Robert & Nancy Berezin, Jack & Cynthia Zubritsky, Rachel G. Wise, Joan Puchalski, Lily Berezin, Chell Stephen, Craig Foisy, Brian Grosz, Matt Whyte, Gordon Hartin, Cherokee Moon, Zach Eichenhorn, Dana LeMarca, Tim Noyes, Ned Korpela, Waking Lights, Lazer Cake, Kamara Thomas and the Ghost Gamblers, The Den recording studio, and Monuments brothers: Mike Cook & Kevin Plessner.
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