The Bravery Is NYC's Next Big Export

Excerpted from the magazine for

With New York bands like the Strokes, Scissor Sisters, Interpol and Yeah Yeah Yeahs reaching global audiences, the Big Apple is, once again, proving to be a hotbed of creativity and excitement.

The latest act to emerge from this rejuvenated music scene is the Bravery, an '80s-influenced five-piece from New York's Lower East Side.

The band's self-titled debut arrives March 29 via Island, the same label that is enjoying much success these days with another retro-minded group, the Killers.

By the time the album arrives, the Bravery will have toured the United States, parts of Europe and the United Kingdom, where it is signed to Loog/Polydor (which issued the single "Unconditional" last year; the album will be released there March 14).

Here and across the pond, the Bravery is being lauded as the first big thing of 2005. Indicators include the band topping BBC News' Sound of 2005 talent poll.

Already, the album's lead single, the New Order-flavored "An Honest Mistake," has been embraced by many modern rock stations, including KROQ Los Angeles, KITS San Francisco, WFNX Boston and WNNX Atlanta.

KITS assistant PD/music director Aaron Axelsen acknowledges that the commercial success of the Killers has definitely opened the door at radio for bands like the Bravery.

And while many have noted sonic similarities between the two Island acts, Axelsen says "there is room to support more bands from this 'indie/electronic pop' world than just the Killers."

Naturally, the Bravery's Sam Endicott, John Conway, Michael Zakarin, Mike H. and Anthony Burulcich appreciate such words.

"Popular music is opening up a bit in the U.S.," Endicott says. "Radio and music fans are embracing different sounds."

Prior to signing with a label, the Bravery did it the old-fashioned way, Endicott notes. "We played lots of live shows in New York, gave out CDs of our tracks and put our tracks online. We wanted our music to be heard."

Island VP of A&R Rob Stevenson —- who signed the Killers and Sum 41 —- signed the Bravery to the label in September. For him, bands like the Killers, Modest Mouse and Franz Ferdinand were the freshman class of this "new movement of rock," while the Bravery, Louis XIV and Kasabian are members of the sophomore class.

The Bravery recently commenced a six-week North American co-headlining tour with Ash. This will be followed by several headlining dates in the United Kingdom.

Excerpted from the Feb. 12, 2005, issue of Billboard. The full original text is available to subscribers.

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