Eliot Bronson
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Eliot Bronson

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Americana Folk

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"" Eliot’s sound reminded me what I love about live music""

Live Review by: Molly Free

A cozy night at Eddie’s Attic listening to the storytelling talents of Eliot Bronson and his band Yonder Orphans seemed like the perfect plans for a rainy Friday evening. An Atlanta favorite and Open Mic Shootout alum, Eliot created an intimate environment that those who flock to the Attic crave. The show was packed out as I was only able to snag the last barstool in the corner which I think ends up being one of the best seats in the house.

Eliot’s band, the Yonder Orphans provided an incredibly talented backbone for his performance, including a lap steel and a cello. Eliot’s sound reminded me what I love about live music as the show ranged from swampy country, to folk, and rock and you did not know what was coming next. The songs I enjoyed most were “Longshot” and “One Mississippi” that highlight Eliot’s huskier side of his voice. Towards the end of the night, Eliot played a song which he revealed was about his mother and that he never played the song live. Personally, it was the song I enjoyed most, especially with the intimate story that accompanied that song to make you feel the power of the song that much more. I highly recommend that he play that song more often as it was fantastic. - Atlanta Music Guide


"" Eliot’s sound reminded me what I love about live music""

Live Review by: Molly Free

A cozy night at Eddie’s Attic listening to the storytelling talents of Eliot Bronson and his band Yonder Orphans seemed like the perfect plans for a rainy Friday evening. An Atlanta favorite and Open Mic Shootout alum, Eliot created an intimate environment that those who flock to the Attic crave. The show was packed out as I was only able to snag the last barstool in the corner which I think ends up being one of the best seats in the house.

Eliot’s band, the Yonder Orphans provided an incredibly talented backbone for his performance, including a lap steel and a cello. Eliot’s sound reminded me what I love about live music as the show ranged from swampy country, to folk, and rock and you did not know what was coming next. The songs I enjoyed most were “Longshot” and “One Mississippi” that highlight Eliot’s huskier side of his voice. Towards the end of the night, Eliot played a song which he revealed was about his mother and that he never played the song live. Personally, it was the song I enjoyed most, especially with the intimate story that accompanied that song to make you feel the power of the song that much more. I highly recommend that he play that song more often as it was fantastic. - Atlanta Music Guide


"" Eliot’s sound reminded me what I love about live music""

Live Review by: Molly Free

A cozy night at Eddie’s Attic listening to the storytelling talents of Eliot Bronson and his band Yonder Orphans seemed like the perfect plans for a rainy Friday evening. An Atlanta favorite and Open Mic Shootout alum, Eliot created an intimate environment that those who flock to the Attic crave. The show was packed out as I was only able to snag the last barstool in the corner which I think ends up being one of the best seats in the house.

Eliot’s band, the Yonder Orphans provided an incredibly talented backbone for his performance, including a lap steel and a cello. Eliot’s sound reminded me what I love about live music as the show ranged from swampy country, to folk, and rock and you did not know what was coming next. The songs I enjoyed most were “Longshot” and “One Mississippi” that highlight Eliot’s huskier side of his voice. Towards the end of the night, Eliot played a song which he revealed was about his mother and that he never played the song live. Personally, it was the song I enjoyed most, especially with the intimate story that accompanied that song to make you feel the power of the song that much more. I highly recommend that he play that song more often as it was fantastic. - Atlanta Music Guide


"Q&A with Eliot Bronson; Playing Eddie’s Attic March 22nd"

By Al Kaufman

Eliot Bronson is the type of songwriter who could squeeze out something meaningful about taking out the trash. He writes heartfelt songs with dark humor and backs them with his resonant voice and swampy instruments. Back in his hometown of Baltimore, he was dubbed a “folk-singing wunderkind.” He then moved to Atlanta and started the Brilliant Inventions with Josh Lamkin. The duo quickly won the Best New Local Music Act in the 2008 Creative Loafing Reader’s Poll. The band broke up in 2010. Lamkin became a full-time photographer while Bronson released his first solo record, Blackbirds, to wide critical acclaim. Bronson just released his second CD, Milwaukee, with a backing band, Yonder Orphans. The band includes Sugarland’s original guitarist, Bret Hartley, and BoDeans drummer Kevin Leahy. The album pays tribute to Rodney Lanier, who, until his death in 2011, was one of the most beloved musicians in Charlotte, NC, fronting bands such as Jolene and Sea of Cortez.

Bronson talked about the differences between being part of a duo and going solo, as well as his relationship with Rodney Lanier.

The new album, especially the title cut, “Milwaukee,” is about Charlotte musician, Rodney Lanier, who died of esophageal cancer a little over a year ago. You begin the song with, “I didn’t really know you, not that well.” How well did you know Lanier and when did you realize you needed you needed to write about him?

It probably sounds cliché, but that song just came to me fully formed. I wrote it a few days after Rodney passed. I picked up my guitar, sang that first line and the rest just tumbled out behind it. I didn’t know him all that well, but we’d known each other for years. He worked the door at The Evening Muse in Charlotte, NC, where I play a lot. He had a little bit of a gruff exterior, and he hated The Brilliant Inventions for the first couple years we played there. Somehow we made a connection over time, and, especially towards the end, were starting to become good friends. We were just getting closer when we lost him.

It’s one thing to have to write a song like “Milwaukee.” It can be cathartic. But to have to then sing it every night; is that difficult? Does it bring up the same emotions every night?

Thank you. Sometimes it is hard. But I don’t shy away from that kind of thing anymore. I don’t want to become numb. Music reminds me to feel.

Why did the Brilliant Inventions break up?

We had a good long run. In the end, Josh was ready for a more stable life. He met a great girl and didn’t want to be on the road all the time. This is a really hard way to live and I don’t blame him for wanting something a little more secure. I’m just not built that way. I have to do this. I don’t know why, but I just have to.

After being part of a duo for so long, how is it different being a solo artist who puts his own band together? Do you have the final say in Yonder Orphans decisions, or is it a group thing?

It is really different. In the duo we were equal partners, who didn’t always have the same artistic vision. We would occasionally get into bitter fights over the direction we wanted to move in. Now I’m in charge and free to make music exactly the way I want to. At the same time, I’m working with some incredibly talented musicians, and I would be crazy not listen to their ideas and suggestions. Recording the album was really a band effort. It wouldn’t be nearly as good if I just called all the shots. - Atlanta Music Guide


"No Depression: "Blackbirds is a story well told, and a journey well worth taking.""

Blackbirds is an album of songs about loss. That tells you everything and nothing. There are many ways to write songs about loss, and many ways to sing them. Eliot Bronson focuses on the loss of love and the loss of youth. He could be bitter or angry, or he could deliver of set of songs that are maudlin or even outright depressing. But instead, Bronson delivers a set of songs that approach their subjects with a delicacy and grace that makes them ring far truer emotionally than any of these other approaches would have. Bronson is an unusual singer, in that he has a strong high tenor that allows him to occasionally slide into falsetto without losing any expressiveness. I once wrote a piece about how Art Garfunkle’s voice was not always suited to his material or his arrangements. Eliot Bronson avoids one part of that problem, because he writes his own songs, and he knows exactly how to write for his voice. He avoids the other part because his arrangements have a light touch that allows his voice to shine. The background vocals by Leah Calvert are the perfect finishing touch. Calvert provides low harmonies, sometimes almost at a whisper, and her voice and Bronson’s blend beautifully.



Before I go on, I should say at once that Eliot Bronson has a wider expressive range than Art Garfunkle. Bronson can certainly do those soaring high vocals, but there is also a slight grab in his voice that gives it more gravitas. Bronson’s main instrument is the acoustic guitar, which he picks rather than strums. To that, add electric or stand up bass, piano or organ or sometimes both, and drums. There is also pedal steel one song, and violin and viola on another. There is also some electric guitar. But Bronson doesn’t even use the full band on each song, so his voice gets plenty of space, and that does wonders for this set of songs. Christmas Song and If You Need to Be Free are the big productions here, so Bronson has to sing these two with more power than elsewhere. He does just fine, but the quitest songs were where he sounds best.



Blackbirds opens with Old Car. The narrator reflects on how he may not have the “best” of anything, but he has what suits him best. This is a song of contentment, and the implied loss is of the unrealistic dreams of youth. This is a man who has given up on competing with the world, and has found happiness by doing so. This is not a passionate emotion, so it’s one that you don’t find many songs about. It’s very refreshing. But there is plenty of passion here as well. In This Song, we meet a man who feels his youth slipping away, and he wants to do something completely rash to prove that he is still young. And Everywhere I Go gives us a narrator who misses his lover so much that he imagines he sees her everywhere. But I especially liked the quieter moments here. Annabel Avenue is a beautifully bittersweet reflection on a lost childhood, while the narrator of Black-Eyed Susan is running from his past. And East Atlanta Lullaby, which closes the album, sums up everything beautifully. Here is a couple who can regret things that they have done before, but who finally feel that they have reached a safe place for themselves. Old Car now gets recast as a foreshadowing, the rest of the songs record a journey, and East Atlanta Lullaby becomes a happy ending with a slight asterisk. Together, Blackbirds is a story well told, and a journey well worth taking. - No Depression


"Georgia Music Magazine: "Blackbirds proves Bronson a formidable talent in his own right, ready for the big time all by his damn self.""

From the Indigo Girls and Michelle Malone to John Mayer, Shawn Mullins and the trio that formed Sugarland, Atlanta has had an impressive singer-songwriter scene for decades, with venues such as Eddie’s Attic and the (late, great) Freight Room at its epicenter.



A few years ago, critics pegged the Brilliant Inventions– the duo of Eliot Bronson and Josh Lamkin– as the Next Big Thing for Atlanta’s folk-rock scene. Frequently dubbed “the Indigo Boys” for their tight vocal harmonies, two-guitar songwriting and engaging stage presence, the duo was voted Best New Local Musical Act in Creative Loafing’s 2008 Reader’s Poll, won the Open Mic Shootout at Eddie’s Attic (twice), and earned opening slots on tours with They Might Be Giants and Jump Little Children.



But a funny thing happened on the way to the top: At some point after the release of their 2009 album Have You Changed, Lamkin decided the life of a touring artist wasn’t for him, leaving the more career-focused Bronson to start over from scratch. If Blackbirds, his debut solo LP, is any indication, it was the best thing that could’ve happened to him.



While the Brilliant Inventions’ songwriting was always strong, the yin-yang between Lamkin’s playful sense of humor and Bronson’s more earnest emotionalism didn’t always mesh. Here, the simple-boy-with-simple-needs ballad “Old Car” flows into the infectious country-rock anthem “If You Need To Be Free” seamlessly, with background vocals from Leah Calvert and instrumentalist/producer Will Robertson giving it a richness that seems primed for radio play. From the pastoral loveliness of “This Song” and the heart-on-his-sleeve yearning of “You’re Always Saying Goodbye” to the hauntingly orchestrated “Christmas Song,” Blackbirds proves Bronson a formidable talent in his own right, ready for the big time all by his damn self. –BRET LOVE - Georgia Music Magazine


"Jezebel Magazine: All By Myself- Singer-songwriter Eliot Bronson brilliantly reinvents himself as a solo artist"

It’s rare for a musician to make the transition from being part of a popular band to finding equal or greater success as a solo artist. For every Paul Simon or Curtis Mayfield, there are a hundred Mick Jaggers who never seem to measure up quite as well without their Keith Richards.

Eliot Bronson always seemed destined for bigger things with The Brilliant Inventions, the duo he formed with fellow Emory University grad Josh Lamkin back in 2004. Frequently referred to as “the Indigo Boys,” the duo’s charisma, songwriting skills and soaring voices made them a favorite act on Atlanta’s thriving folk-rock scene, attracting a loyal following and impressive critical acclaim. But in 2009, as their burgeoning buzz began attracting national attention, Lamkin decided to call it quits.

Now, Bronson has reemerged as a solo artist with an impressive debut, Blackbirds, that explores his country-folk influences in earnest. We recently spoke with Bronson about his musical influences, the reasons behind his split with Lamkin, and the creative liberation that comes from working alone Who were the artists that initially inspired you to become a singer-songwriter?

The first music I was exposed to was my parents' music. They had unusual taste because their identities were equally informed by the church and the '60s counterculture. Believe it or not, it was a Judy Collins record that really turned me on to songwriting. It wasn't so much Judy Collins, but all the great songs she covered from Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Phil Ochs and Leonard Cohen. I'd never heard anything like it before! I wanted to be able to make that kind of magic.

Tell me a little bit about how you and Lamkin came together to form The Brilliant Inventions. Josh and I both started out as solo acts. It was Josh's idea to join forces. He brought up the idea several times early on, but I always blew it off. I think it was timing more than anything else that made it happen. We were both going through some big changes and wanted to try something new. We booked a tour as two solo acts, and by the time the tour was over, we were The Brilliant Inventions.

You guys seem to have very different styles, but great chemistry. How did that dynamic work?

I think we learned a lot from each other. In the beginning, Josh was always way funnier than I was on stage. He showed me how to lighten up and not take myself so seriously. I think I helped him take more chances and write from a deeper place, especially toward the end. Of course, it wasn't always easy-we had our share of fights-but I think that tension made the music better.

You guys were voted Best Local New Music Act by Creative Loafing in 2008, won the Open Mic Shootout at Eddie's Attic and seemed to be developing a huge following. Why did you break up?

I've made no secret of that fact, that the breakup was not my idea. For various reasons, Josh just didn't want music to be the priority in his life anymore. Who knows what would have happened if we'd kept it up? I don't have any regrets, though. I feel really good about where things are going now.

What were the positives and negatives of recording your first solo album?

Making Blackbirds was such a rewarding experience. After years of hammering out all the creative differences, it was liberating to make exactly the kind of recording that I envisioned and really be in complete control of my art. The only negative I can think of was just not having that team spirit that a band has. [Producer] Will Robertson provided some of that, but it's not exactly the same. There were moments when I would definitely have liked to be able to confer with a partner. But I'm glad I couldn't. A big part of making this album was learning to trust my instincts.

How would you say Blackbirds differs from the music you made with The Brilliant Inventions?

I think it's more mature, and much more cohesive. It's got more grit and less sheen. It's an album in the old-fashioned sense. The songs make sense together, and they tell a complete story.

What are your career goals going forward?

I've been writing a ton lately, and I'm almost ready to start recording again. The next album's gonna rock a little harder, with more full-band stuff. Of course, I'd love to take over the world and all that. But, at the end of the day, it's perfect songs that I'm chasing down. My goal is to be a master of my craft. My goal is to make magic! -Bret Love - Jezebel Magazine


"Absolute Powerpop: "Heartland rock sound not unlike Ryan Adams and Paul Westerberg" "Folky-pop gems""

Eliot Bronson & Yonder Orphans-Milwaukee. When we last left Eliot Bronson (formerly of The Brilliant Inventions), he released 2011's Blackbirds, in which he leaned more to the folk side of folk-pop. This time around he's added a backup band and cranked things up a bit, displaying more of a heartland rock sound not unlike Ryan Adams and Paul Westerberg. This becomes apparent on the driving "One Mississippi", a rocker you could easily hear Adams or Tom Petty doing. "Waiting on a Sign", "Emily" and "It Don't Get Easier" also follow in this vein and the latter especially is a treat. Elsewhere, "Down to Me" is top-drawer Popicana, and "Longshot" and the title track are the kind of the folky-pop gems that drew us to him in the first place. - Absolute Powerpop


"Necesito Un Rock And Roll: "Luminous songs full of melody, passionate chorus of infectious guitars and harmonica.""

Empezar el año con luz, con colores brillantes. Con sonrisas que salen desde dentro es una necesidad, un verdadero placer.

No hablaré de buenas intenciones, ya lo hizo, magistralmente, Dickens. Tampoco de todos los propósitos que van diluyéndose conforme pasan los días y, compruebas, que sigues siendo el mismo de siempre, la misma, con las mismas carencias, el mismo con los mismos miedos, los mismos anhelos y las mismas miserias…Sin embargo…Deberíamos de superar esos escollos emocionales y trascender todas las trampas que le hacemos al alma, todos los trucos baratos que nos anclan a esa habitación donde nunca entra la luz, donde todo hiede al polvo de los años de inacción, al mañana lo haré, al tengo que…Al desde mañana voy a…

Es por ello que es un lujo ofreceros un disco brillante, luminoso de canciones plenas de melodía, de apasionados estribillos, de contagiosas guitarras y harmónicas…De vida esplendorosa, como algunas sonrisas.

Eliot Bronson acaba de publicar su tercer disco en solitario, el primero con una banda de talento y capacidad interpretativa excepcional. Y es que, al músico de Baltimorele acompañan autores de reconocido nivel artístico cuyo nombre es sinónimo de Música, así, con mayúscula, en Atlanta, donde Bronson los ha ido reclutando. Así, sus Yonder Orphans, son gente como Bret Hartley en la guitarra y el lap Steel, miembro de la banda Sugarland, Kevin Leahy of de la banda BoDeans al bajo y un músico por el cual siennto debilidad, tanto en sus discos en solitario como en ese proyecto, belleza, que se llamó The Thorns. Hablo de Shawn Mullins, el cual se ocupa de la batería.

En esta maravilla luminosa llamada “Milwaukee” el ex- The Brilliant Inventions desarrolla en once canciones todo un muestrario de cómo se debe de hacer una, tras otra, canciones llenas de luz, de alma, de corazón y de contagiosas melodías. “It Don't Get Easier” es un maravilloso Rock N Roll lleno de melodía y pasión. Al igual que “One Mississippi” y esa belleza que me tiene enganchao titulada “Down On Me”.

Si Ryan Adams se acordase de cómo escribía esas gloriosas canciones en sus discos de antaño, seguro que hubiera hecho temas como “Aces Of Spades” o “Waiting On a Sign” de este maravilloso “Milwaukee”.

Cada uno afronta este año de modos diferentes, vinculando su destino a sus deseos o a sus miedos, a sus esperanzas o a sus frustraciones.

Una persona me dijo hace poco que, sólo proponiéndose el querer cambiar o mejorar, una persona ya está cambiando, ya está siendo alguien mejor…Al final, mira tú por donde, si que he acabado escribiendo de buenas intenciones. - Necesito Un Rock And Roll


"-Georgia Music Magazine: "He can pull at your heartstrings like nobody's business.""

"He can pull at your heartstrings like nobody's business." - -Georgia Music Magazine


"Live From Paste: Eliot Bronson"

We all find our voice at one point or another. Sometimes that process directly follows its course, but more often than not that sort of path is the exception to the rule. It’s kind of the way Eliot Bronson’s musical career has unfolded. Originally one half of the promising Atlanta duo The Brilliant Inventions, Bronson and his songwriting partner Josh Lamkin seemed posed to break out of the local circuit after touring with acts like They Might Giants and Shawn Mullins.

But after parting ways with his former bandmate, Eliot Bronson seems to be doing just fine on his own. When Bronson and his band stopped by our offices earlier in the month, it seemed as if he had been performing on his own the whole time. While playing under his own name may not have been the road Bronson originally envisioned for himself, he seems to be that much better because of it these days. - Paste Magazine


""Bronson has one of the best folk-pop albums of 2011.""

Eliot Bronson-Blackbirds. Bronson is one half of The Brilliant Inventions, a duo who put out one of 2009 best folk-pop albums, Have You Changed. Flying solo here, Bronson leans more to the folk than the pop, but there are a number of understated gems here and his gift for melody remains intact. Those who lean to the pop side of things will love "Everywhere I Go", a beautiful midtempo number that has the kind of chorus that will burrow its way into your brain, and the buoyant "If You Need to Be Free", which will appeal to fans of the Shane Lamb disc I recently featured. And the folkier tunes are not without their charms either: Leah Calvert's wonderful harmony work on "Old Car" and "Black-Eyed Susan" recalls the Caitlin Cary/Ryan Adams dynamic of Whiskeytown. In other words, Bronson has one of the best folk-pop albums of 2011. - Absolute Powerpop


"The Evening Muse was simply Brilliant saturday April 18th 2009"

A couple of guys from Atlanta made the short trip up to Charlotte Saturday night to allow us to help them celebrate the release of their Debut CD titled "Have You Changed" at Charlotte's listening room, The Evening Muse. These two guys are Josh Lamkin and Eliot Bronson and they go by the band name The Brilliant Inventions!

This was my first time seeing The Brilliant Inventions perform and I had mixed expectations. I knew there was some buzz in the local music scene and over the past week I had talked to a number of people who were emphatic about their own attendance and almost as emphatic about mine. Of course a full house at the early show is also an indication that everyone else knew something that I perhaps was not as tuned into. So it was with some positive anticipation that I watched the guys take the stage.


It didn't take long for me to figure out what most everyone else already knew. Not only is the music worth going out of your way to listen too, but the banter between Josh and Eliot is witty, bright and insightful. A quick witted humor is a natural part of these guys karma. That's not something one can separate from the creative process and therefore songs like Angry Lesbian, Tell her I'm gone, and Restless result. But it's also that intelligence that produces songs like the title track "Have You Changed" and my personal favorite "We Don't Have The Words".

The music was nothing short of wonderful, despite Josh Lamkin suffering from "Gitis of the Larynx". These guys had the entire audience in stitches with their wit and humor. Our friend Laurie's son made the comparison to the Smothers Brothers meet Simon & Garfunkel. BRILLIANT!!!

"Have You Changed" produced by Will Robertson and The Brilliant Inventions is a masterful recording which captures the spirit of these two singer-songwriters. Seldom does a product reflect so positively the character of the people behind it. This CD is one I'm tickled is part of my collection.

All of us at some time in our lives come to a point in a conversation or decision where we just know what we know and just don't have the words. The song "We Don't Have The Words" is reflective of those many situations in which we arrive in life and at the songs core may very well reflect the last thought each of us may have - I know what I know even though I don't have the words.

Photos of The Brilliant Inventions show.

Opening for The Brilliant Inventions tonight was a couple out of Asheville, NC who go by the name of "Every Mothers Dream". They did a great job opening the show. Photos of Every Mother's Dream performance.

Cheers,

Monty Chandler

- Charlotte Examiner


"BestOfAtlantaConcerts: Real Music Featured Artist: The Brilliant Inventions"

I have honestly been listening to this cd almost nonstop since I got it. It is full of raw emotion, sentimental lyrics, heartfelt voices, and simple yet passionate music that all combine to create an album that is easily replayed and enjoyed by anyone and everyone.

Acoustic guitars lightly begin “Isn’t It Worth It,” a song reminding us to bring things into focus on ourselves. Eliot takes the place as lead vocalist, with a voice that is level and matches the music in every turn. The guitars are backed by the upright bass and percussion, creating a smoothly simple tune. “This world will cut you deep/ And leave a nasty scar/ Isn’t it worth it to remember who you are;” these lyrics resound for anyone who has ever felt like they didn’t know themselves anymore.



The title song of the album, “Have You Changed,” was written by Josh, not to be a breakup song, but a letting go song. Beginning with a chorus of “uh ohs” that continue appearing throughout the song, Josh takes the lead vocals and constructs a scenario in which a love decided they wanted something different. In the tone of two people who haven’t spoken in a long while, the song is full of questions. Besides asking, “Have you changed?” I think perhaps the most intimate and difficult questions asked in the song are, “In time did someone take my place/ Are you alone in your own space/ Did you ever forget my face/ Do I want to know?” It is sad and hopeful in the same instance, creating an unforgettable twist to which many people can relate.



“There Goes My Heart” introduces a robust piano playing Josh, again taking the lead vocals in a song that he says might be his favorite. The beginning of the song has the slight intonations of frustration and irritation that comes with your heart working against your head. “I’m not going to get burned/ Will you read this and cry/ I won’t be around to see it/ Goodbye;” towards the end of the song, determination replaces frustration, these emotions cleverly backed by an excellent combination of piano, acoustic guitar, and drums.



“If You Want It” is an incredibly fun and upbeat song, vocally led by Eliot and including a variety of background music, including shakers and hand claps. It gives new meaning to one person’s bad luck being another person’s good fortune. The portrayal of misfortune taken into a positive light (“If we ever get home again/ I’ll give you everything I am”) is something we can all appreciate.



The acoustic guitars and light percussion introduce “How Do You Fall.” Singing of being lost and stuck in the confusions of love, Eliot gently explores lyrics with a general theme of aimless floating with no clear destination. “How do I know when/ I found the right thing?” is a common question. The guitar in this song creates a feeling of simplicity.



“Could’ve Been You” begins with a tune immediately recognized as regretful and “I told you so” sounding. The acoustic guitars accompanied by the bass really perfect the music behind lyrics like, “If you’d only loved me too/ Now I found someone to put my heart into/ It could’ve been you.” This song is so relatable; I feel like we all have someone in mind when it plays.



“Lights You Up” is fairly simple, covering a range of emotions that light a person up and make them visibly alive, be it love or sadness. I particularly like Eliot and Josh’s harmony in this song, and the effect the piano has of boldening particular lyrics.



“You Don’t Have To Be Strong” consists of guitars and the upright bass for a simple but beautifully perfect combination. The song gives the air of sweet relief to a tired, self-reliant girl “Holding up/ More than your half of the world.” It is the kind of song that every woman wants to hear and creates a feeling of comfort and sweetness: “Just lay your head/ Down on my chest/ It’s okay if you’re broken/ Like me.”



Upbeat, ironically hopeful “What About Jennifer” is trying to fend off the despair and loneliness of a breakup. “Jennifer” and “Caroline” and “Anyone who isn’t her” create a note of slight desperation to avoid the hurt. Josh’s honesty in a situation we’ve all been in and willingness to try anything new to cover the scars of the old create a song that is heartening despite the sad subject matter.



“Tell Her I’m Gone” is fast moving, funny, and keeps the feet tapping and the hands clapping. A lamer title might have been “Love Games I Don’t Want to Play Anymore.” It’s a hilarious escape song, using the guitars, various percussion instruments, and Eliot’s Uncontrollable Laughter to create a speedy getaway.



“Restless” could be the mantra for the average teenager’s life. It could fit well as the theme song to a spontaneous cross country road trip. However you feel about this song, it is certainly a relaxing, sing-along type of song.



No one likes to wait around to see if someone else thinks they are right or not. You either are or you aren’t, right? “I Don’t Wanna Wait” exp - Bestofatlantaconcerts.com


"Rising Folk Duo Lights Up Local Music Scene"

When would-be “American Idol” contestant Renaldo Lapuz creeped out judge Simon Cowell by singing a song he had composed just for him — “We’re Brothers Forever” — the last thought on anyone’s mind was that the the song should ever have a repeat performance. But Eliot Bronson thought otherwise, and launched a video in which he soulfully performs a satirical acoustic cover of the song on YouTube last year. His deadpan delivery amplifies the absurdity of the song’s vapid lyrics, and he ends the song with a long, dramatic look into the distance that elicits guffaws from someone off-camera.

But Bronson is not just some guy with a camcorder and a YouTube account. Along with fellow musician Josh Lamkin, he makes up half of local Atlanta duo The Brilliant Inventions. The band mostly flies under the radar, but in the five years since it formed, The Brilliant Inventions has been voted Best New Local Music Act by Creative Loafing and won Eddie’s Attic Bi-Annual Open Mic Shootout. The band has also played to packed houses, opening for big names like Jump, Little Children and They Might Be Giants.

The Brilliant Inventions relies on a blend of folksy harmonies and pop melodies to create its dynamic and full-bodied sound. The band lists Ben Folds Five, U2 and various ’70s artists as big influences. Its vocals are reminiscent of legendary folk band Simon and Garfunkel or Internet sensation Rhett and Link, though the band’s tunes are generally more upbeat and rhythmic than the average folk duo. Like singer-songwriters Jeff Buckley and Brandi Carlile, the band started out doing regular gigs at a local coffee shop, but now performs most regularly at local venue Eddie’s Attic, where a loyal fanbase assembles to cheer on the band and sing along with their favorite songs.

Last Saturday night, Eddie’s Attic hosted The Brilliant Inventions’ CD release party, which marked not only the release of the band’s first studio album, Have You Changed, but also its first sold-out show at the venue. Have You Changed is the result of two years’ hard work, a time during which Lamkin says, “Every roadblock, everything that could have possibly gone wrong went wrong.”

The band had to switch producers, drummers and even recording studios mid-project. But ultimately, the group believes that these obstacles made the final product even better. “This is the record we wanted to make,” Bronson says. “We made the record we wanted to listen to, the record we wanted to put on and hear.”

Will Robertson became the album’s producer last January, and, for the past couple of years, has joined the band on stage whenever they need a bassist.

“Their songwriting is super solid,” Robertson says. “I mean, I’ve worked with a lot of songwriters, a lot of musicians, and both of them have such a great sense of just keeping the listener’s interest, and writing about interesting things, and writing with depth and heart.”

Robertson, who has opened up his basement recording studio to the band, is continually impressed by Bronson and Lamkin’s talent and initiative.

“I think these guys are among the best songwriters I’ve worked with,” he says. “I’m really psyched to see what’s going to happen with the record, and I’m really excited to have been a part of it.”

Saturday night’s packed house was a testament to fans’ eagerness to hear the long-awaited record. Susan Crutchfield, a fan of three years, reserved a table right next to the stage as soon as the show’s tickets went up for sale.

“I like their versatility. They can switch from a fun song to a serious ballad,” Crutchfield says. “I like how they joke with the crowd and draw them in and make them feel like they’re part of the concert, instead of just singing to them.”

Onstage, the band breaches both serious topics — lost love, disconnection and general confusion — and humorous ones. One song they sometimes perform, “What an Asshole You Were in High School,” is dedicated to one of Lamkin’s old classmates. Another song, which the duo performed for the first time on Saturday, is told from the perspective of a guy in a new relationship who is impatient to get physical — double entendres, of course, abound.

Despite what The Brilliant Inventions label as its own “general goofiness,” both members consider the band’s humorous side to be secondary to its serious material. The guys were initially frustrated by their fans’ focus on their comedic side, but Lamkin now says they are happy to have people take away anything from their songs and stories.

The duo certainly has enough fodder to fuel the entertaining tales they tell onstage. Their past venues have included an agricultural commune where the performance space consisted of a rotting living room sinking into the ground, and a supposedly haunted plantation house in North Carolina where they spent the night. Bronson also prefaces one of his heartfelt relationship songs with the sheepish confession that he met the girl from the song on the low-budge - Emory Wheel


""Atlanta duo... may have the folk-pop album of the year on their hands.""

The Brilliant Inventions-Have You Changed. This Atlanta duo, comprised of singer-songwriters Josh Lamkin and Eliot Bromson, may have the folk-pop album of the year on their hands. These guys can harmonize with anyone, and have the tunes to go with the harmonies. Fans of Straw Dogs, The Karg Brothers, and The Jayhawks will love this disc. There are plenty of highlights here: the opener "Isn't it Worth it", which sums up their sound in one song; the title track, and its "oh-oh"s in the chorus; "There Goes My Heart", possibly the best track on the album, one which throws some piano and pop beats into the mix; the Rembrandts-esque "Could've Been You", and the shimmering pop of "What About Jennifer". A brilliant invention indeed.

http://absolutepowerpop.blogspot.com/search/label/The%20Brilliant%20Inventions - AbsolutePowerpop.com


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Award-winning singer/songwriter Eliot Bronson’s latest self-titled album was tracked entirely analog in Nashville by acclaimed producer Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Rival Sons, Jason Isbell, Nikki Lane). It’s a vibey, ten-song album with an uncluttered production aesthetic that highlights Bronson’s songwriting and his achingly beautiful vocals.

The story goes that after Bronson completed writing this cycle of songs, he sent Dave Cobb an unsolicited email with a sample track attached. Bronson was inspired to reach out to Cobb because he was intrigued by the spacious vocal production on the Jason Isbell record which Cobb had produced. Bronson felt Cobb could help him realize the atmospheric and timeless qualities he wanted for his songs. Cobb was impressed with Bronson’s music and replied back. “I was stunned when I got a response. It was really validating for me because I sort of had him on a pedestal,” Bronson says candidly.

Eliot Bronson was recorded in one week at Cobb’s home studio and Cowboy Jack Clement Studios in Nashville. “It all felt really natural and effortless,” Bronson recalls. “Dave would be in the room playing right along with us during tracking.” The album was mixed the following week.

"It was quite a pleasure working with Eliot," says Cobb. "He's a brilliant lyricist and poet. We did the record live all together and the album feels timeless."

The record is something of a homecoming for Bronson, who was raised in a Pentecostal home by a family for which music was prayer and life was expressed and enjoyed in song.  At an early age, Bronson discovered his parents’ folk collection of 1960s artists. These two became formative musical influences shaping Bronson’s purposeful, pensive, and poetic songwriting. Though his own music adventures took him away from these roots, he returns home to these music guideposts with Eliot Bronson

“I spent a long time trying to get away from where I came from,” Bronson says, “but it never really felt right. This is the music I’ve always had in me. This record is me.”

Eliot Bronson is anchored by Bronson’s honeyed weary voice; blend of wry wit with emotional sincerity; expansive palette of Americana; and the album’s crisp vintage production. “River Runs Dry” boasts high-lonesome vocal harmonies, tenderly mournful lap steel, and it conjures up a cathartic sadness. “I like songs to preserve little moments without telling a specific story, so you feel something but you don’t always know exactly why,” Bronson reveals. The rollicking “Comin’ For Ya North Georgia Blues” combines almost William Boroughs-esque cutup images with unbridled and euphoric shitkicking musicality. “I was really having fun with words and ideas on that one, trying to paint picture of a relationship” he explains.

Bronson’s engaging cleverness comes to the front on the “You Wouldn’t Want Me If You Had Me.” “I didn’t think I was being funny on that one,” he says with a good-natured laugh. “I was being truthful, but I guess it works on a humorous level too. My friend said that title is the ‘dating musician’s credo.’”

Previously Eliot Bronson issued two critically acclaimed solo albums and, prior to his solo career, was a member of folk favs The Brilliant Inventions. The Atlanta Music Guide says: “Eliot Bronson is the type of songwriter who could squeeze out something meaningful about taking out the trash. He writes heartfelt songs with dark humor and backs them with his resonant voice and swampy instruments.” Georgia Music Magazine notes: “He can pull at your heartstrings like nobody’s business.” Coming up, in his native town of Baltimore, Maryland The Baltimore Sun called him a “a folk singing wunderkind.” He has won such esteemed songwriting awards as first place at Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest and Eddie Owen Presents “Songwriter Shootout,” and he’s been a finalist at Kerrville Folk Festival, Rocky Mountain Folks Fest Songwriting Contest, and New Song Contest Lincoln Center NYC.

Band Members