My Brothers and I Premiere 'Heartbeat' EP
My Brothers and I gave the world a first taste of its brand of pop on its 2015 debut. But frontman David Wurgler, the youngest of the Portland quartet's three brothers, is confident its new EP Heartbeat -- which streams exclusively below ahead of its Aug. 17 release -- offers a better and more polished look, and listen.
"We're super excited about this sound and this EP in comparison to our first album," Wurgler tells Billboard. "It definitely feels like it embodies more of who we are -- who we are as artists, for sure." And besides the normal growth between projects, the group -- which also includes brothers Erik on bass and Scott on drums as well as brother from another mother Jordan Roach on guitar -- also benefited from more resources this time around, including production by Priory's Brandon Rush.
"We wrote songs in the form and style of pop music on our first album; We just didn't have the resources in terms of production to make it sound like it's top 40-ready or radio-ready music," Wurgler explains. "I think this time around we had the resources to produce things at a higher level."
My Brothers and I, which has been together for about three and a half years, opted to go the EP route for its second release, putting together six hooky and melodic songs from a wealth it had around. "We felt like the way the world's been going and the way music's been going, it's less about albums and more about playlists and singles," Wurgler says. "It just feels like there's a way to kind of stretch out the release of your music rather than giving people a bunch of songs on an album that they won't listen to. We try to make every song worth listening to, so if we give people less at a time then it makes it easier for them to get to know them."
That did make the process "a little bit more selective" for the quartet, however. "We’re writing all the time, every day, so there were maybe 60 ideas to pick from when we started recording," according to Wurgler. "Instead of putting, like, 24 songs on an album or something we said, 'We'll pick the six we like and we feel are really the best to move forward with at that moment.' So that puts a little pressure on those, but it's not like we threw the rest away. We'll have those to come back to, as well as the new things we're coming up with."
My Brothers and I will celebrate Heartbeat’s release with a show on Aug. 17 in Seattle, followed by dates in Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The group is hoping for a more extensive tour during the fall, and it's making plans to polish up its live show much like it did its studio sound.
"We're just now diving into a full-production live set with click tracks and backing tracks and all of that," Wurgler says. "We love playing more stripped-down and acoustic, and that makes for easy travel, but I think we want to take the next step with our live production. We feel like musically we have the songs to compete in the top 40 and be on the radio, and now that we have the resources to make it sound good enough we want to do that on stage, too."
EP Release Tour Dates
8/17 Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
8/18 Portland, OR @ Holocene
8/20 San Francisco, CA @ Lost Church
8/22 Los Angeles, CA @ Peppermint Club