Meredith Bragg and the Terminals
Gig Seeker Pro

Meredith Bragg and the Terminals


Band Rock Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Paste Magazine review of Vol. 1"

Bragg's folk chamber group issues a remarkable statement without raising the volume.
3 1/2 Stars

Meredith Bragg divides his quietly luminous first record, Vol. 1, into chapters, which would be a pretentious affectation if he hadn't produced what amounts to a loosely constructed portrait of the artist as a young songwriter. Critics have compared Bragg to Nick Drake, but he only superficially resembles the long-lost British troubadour. Bragg, a refugee from Virginia-based band Speedwell, boasts aspects of Drake's compelling vocal style, but his songs and personal, self-effacing lyrics are much more direct and earthbound. With a nod to Iron & Wine's Sam Beam, Bragg seasons his strummed guitar with gentle accompaniment of sympathetic piano and vibes plus Elizabeth Olson's lovely cello. Some of Bragg's best songs (My Only Enemy," "I Won't Let You Down," "Shattering") are also his longest ones, recalling the folk-jazz ragas of artists diverse as Tim Buckley, Buzzy Linhart and Van Morrison. Bragg's music doesn't grab you by the collar; it slowly insinuates. - Jim Motavalli

"Pitchfork review of Vol. 1"

Rating: 7.5

I hear the ghost of Elliott Smith haunting Meredith Bragg's debut-- especially on "Work and Winter", where the semblance is uncanny. Over a gently strummed guitar and gently tapped triangle, the former Speedwell member arcs his whispery voice across a plaintive melody, enunciating higher notes for a lyrical phrase before descending again to a more comfortable range. Singing just above his natural level, Bragg crafts the tune and the performance for maximum poignancy. It's the work of a bright student: a little self-conscious and overeager, but nevertheless affecting.

On the other hand, the lyrics on "Work and Winter" are particularly Gibbardesque: "Smiling as I felt your breathing align/ In alliance with mine." It would be a little rash to dismiss Bragg and his Terminals as just another troupe of pop-sensitive, heart-on-sleeve folkies. Admittedly, most of Vol. 1 draws heavily from obvious sources, and most of the ideas here will be familiar to anyone who's heard Nick Drake, Death Cab for Cutie, or the New Year. And yes, the album's aesthetic of failure-- its tendency toward extreme self-reckoning-- derives from Smith's canon of introverted and expressive songs. However, despite these influences and even despite its Decemberistical album art, Vol. 1 transcends any accusation of imitation: These 11 tracks have their own high stakes and dire consequences and seem as specific to Bragg himself as Smith's were to him, as Gibbard's are to him.

Instead of mining Smith's sense of self-compromise or entertaining the DCFC frontman's romantic whimsy, Bragg writes lyrics that are more plainspoken and austere in their jadedness. He's wary of relationships on the bare-bones "Early Sign", surprised that he can be guardedly hopeful on "Carolina", and, over uncorrected guitar flubs, sweetly reminiscent on "Seventeen". All of this introspection is couched in music that is at once intimate yet expansive, concise yet darkly atmospheric, understated yet occasionally powerful. Bragg sings in a soft voice, carefully enunciating his syllables as if uncertain he'll be understood. Only when he alters his voice for "Waltz No. 1" does the album falter, but elsewhere his risks pay off. Bragg spends half of the seven-and-a-half-minute "I Won't Let You Down" half-humming the short melody over and over, stoically building to something uncertain yet ineluctable.

That "I Won't Let You Down" sounds so confident and immediate is not just to Bragg's credit, but also to the credit of the Terminals, who prevent Vol. 1 from descending gravitationally into dreariness. Jonathan Roth's drums propel the melodies and anchor Bragg to the world, while Elizabeth Olson's cello adds tremulous gravity to tracks like the short "Before the Storm" and "Bitter at Best". But it's Brian Minter who adds most to the band's sound and helps make it distinct from their forebears. His piano makes a perfect foil for Bragg's mechanistic guitar rhythms on the propulsive closer, "Shattering", and his "Vibraphonic Devices" evoke a noir chiaroscuro on the dark "My Own Worst Enemy". Bragg and the Terminals may not have pioneered their sound, but they sound perfectly at home all the same.

-Stephen M. Deusner, July 22, 2005 - Stephen M. Deusner

"Magnet review of Vol. 1"

In the 1996 film Swingers, a skinny Vince Vaughn tells a skinny Jon Favreau, "I don't want you to be the guy in the PG-13 movie everyone's really hoping makes it happen. I want you to be like the guy in the rated-R movie; you know, the guy you're not sure whether or not you like yet." Bragg is this guy. At first, Vol. 1 seems like a typical guitar-driven debut from an introspective singer/songwriter. Then the chimes hit. Then the cellos. Pretty soon, the Virginia native has won you over with his delicate, haunted music, which recalls the work of Elliott Smith. Produced by Archie Moore (Velocity Girl, Heartworms), Vol. 1 proves Bragg is someone worth getting close to, if he'll allow it. - Magnet Magazine

" Band of the Day"

"Cinematic" is an overused term for describing pensive music with any depth of character, especially since lots of people don't seem to read anymore. But it's hard not to conjure faux montage after montage after a few listens to the The Departures EP from Meredith Bragg and the Terminals, a backdrop tailor-made for budding starlets clad in colorful sweaters and scarves, huddled on a sofa or spacing out behind the wheel.

"Postcard from Boston" is fraught with situational imagery that's instantly accessible. "It's the unsafe side of evening when the mind's made up," sings Bragg. "With eyes fixed on the ceiling, I find my cell, dial you up. Are you up?" It's the EP's sparsest, most fragile moment, mainly just Bragg and acoustic guitar meandering toward an emotional crescendo that he never really wants to embrace. Similarly poignant, "Empty Beds" is a somber tale of cutting loose filled with loneliness and uncertainty: Key refrains include "What will I do for Christmas?" and "I'm never coming back." Like most of the EP, "Beds" is all about being lost in the most important instant of life without any easy answers, a kind of "Under the Milky Way Tonight" for the Death Cab for Cutie set.

While Bragg's name gets the spotlight, there's a deeper lineage to the band: Terminals Brian Minter (keys) and Jon Roth (drums) played with Bragg in Speedwell, a synthy, coed, D.C.-based rock outfit that toured with like-minded acts like the Dismemberment Plan and Jimmy Eat World before parting ways in 2003.

The Departures EP is officially out Jan. 17, but you can order it direct from the Kora Records now. A spring tour is in the works. - Peter Gaston


Download This: Meredith Bragg and The Terminals

The only thing I like more than hand claps in songs are vocalists who go "doo doo, doo doo doo, doo doo doo." It feels pure and innocent. And so Meredith Bragg and the Terminals deliver on "Talk Me Down," a track off their new Departures EP (out January 17). Don't worry, there are also real lyrics, a dash of cello, and the always sexy sounds of the vibraphone. It's pure orchestral indie rock with heart. - Marc Vera

"Washington Post review of Vol. 1"

The packaging of Meredith Bragg & the Terminals' "Vol. 1" apes a 19th-century book, with old-fashioned typesetting and obsolete spellings.

Yet this pretty album isn't some faux-antiquarian project. The singer-guitarist and two of the Terminals used to play in Speedwell, a local indie rock group, and Bragg's debut solo set is more chamber-rock than old-timey folk. Although vibraphone and cello replace electronic keyboards and electric bass, such tunes as "Work and Winter" and "Carolina" are just a few twists away from power-pop. His melodies don't seem archaic, but the best of them do sound timeless.

-Mark Jenkins, December 2, 2005 - Mark Jenkins

"Washington City Paper live review"

“Meredith Bragg and the Terminals opened the show with a set of sad-eyed folk pop that bore similarities to work by Nick Drake and Elliott Smith, but more than anyone else sounded like Canadian songmeisters the Weakerthans, thanks chiefly to the striking similarities between Bragg's voice, melodic choices, and phrasing, and those of Weakerthans' singer John K. Samson. The rich cello accompaniment provided by Elizabeth Olson helped bring fill out the bottom end a little, at the same time as it provided a nice substitute for vocal harmonies. Drummer Jonathon Roth's tasteful brushwork kept things moving, but it was his use of mallets on a song late in the set that really stood out. The mallet-strikes on an un-snared snare provided an unusual texture that, while it wouldn't have worked at all with a louder band, fit perfectly with this band's quiet, melodic approach and Olson's suddenly coarse, rhythmic bowing. Toward the close of the set, Bragg announced that his band's self-titled debut will be coming out in the next couple of months on the Kora Records.”
- Greg Ceton, Washington City Paper, April 1-7, 2005 - Greg Ceton

"Washington Post live review of CD release show"

Every artist who schedules a CD release show hopes for the scene that materialized at the Black Cat's Backstage Sunday night, where Meredith Bragg had set up a gig: a full house that was both excited and attentively hushed. Bragg and his band, the Terminals, played a show that justified the buzz, crafting a brief but sturdy set of low-key songs that emphasized their leader's fingerpicked acoustic guitar and sharply drawn lyrics.

Bragg, keyboardist Brian Minter and drummer Jon Roth formerly played together in the Northern Virginia quintet Speedwell, but that band's indie-rock edge is nowhere to be found in the introspective, folk-rock ramble of songs like "My Only Enemy." That tune appears on Bragg and the Terminals' debut album, "Vol. 1," which officially hits the streets July 12 and contains other numbers that the quartet -- cellist Elizabeth Olson providing key embellishment -- gently uncoiled. "Seventeen" and "I Won't Let You Down" both contained the kind of bittersweet melodic bite associated with Elliott Smith, while "Work and Winter" was more spry, a quick pinprick that recalled the unjustly forgotten work of Rhode Island's Purple Ivy Shadows. And Bragg can be forgiven the indulgence of a warbly run through R.E.M.'s "The One I Love," because his original songs packed sufficient persuasion on their own.

- Patrick Foster, Washington Post, Tuesday, July 5, 2005
- Patrick Foster

"AMG Review of Silver Sonya"

4 stars (out of 5)

With his band the Terminals, Meredith Bragg has recorded a full album and an EP of music that falls somewhere between folk and pop, with beautifully constructed arrangements that lean heavily on guitar, cello, and unexpected keyboard textures. For his first solo album, recorded after an extended European jaunt, he gave his producers Chad Clark and T.J. Lipple two guide lines -- only the sounds of his acoustic guitar and voice could be used, but once recorded they could be manipulated in any way possible to give the songs depth and texture. With digital technology almost anything is possible, but the producers acted with remarkable restraint. The sounds they produce and layer onto the original tracks take nothing away from Bragg's guitar, which is given a bright glossy sheen without overwhelming its warm acoustic sound, or his voice, a fragile instrument often compared to Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and Elliott Smith, but with a cordial, inviting timbre that's his alone. Bragg isn't afraid to show off his knowledge of history or his intelligence, and one of the album's treats is the way he juggles language. His songs about geometry and history are just a beguiling as his love songs, all sporting elegant melodies and delivered with incomparable grace by his openhearted tenor voice. "Twin Arrows," perhaps the arrows of outrageous fortune, could be a song sung by the ghost of Julius Caesar or Tutankhamen, serenading modern tourists as the way though the ruins of Rome or Cairo. The guitar phases in and out producing shimmering overtones, delicate chimes and the sound of chirping crickets. The subtle percussion could be Bragg tapping on the guitar then looping the sound into a bubbly rhythm. The result is a warm, organic electronica that enhances Bragg's aching vocal. "Plinian" is the story of the destruction of Pompeii adapted from a letter Pliny the Younger sent to a friend at the time. Despite its lofty concept, the execution is down to earth and chilling. Images of falling ash, burning seas, poisonous gas, and roiling volcanic clouds are presented simply by Bragg's passionate vocal and strumming guitar. His backing vocals are wordless laments, with the production emphasizing random bass notes to highlight the dramatic lyric. On "March," the guitar is treated to sound like some kind of odd keyboard, and the vocal is given a reverb-drenched tremolo. The song is the lament of the month of March, complaining about her new position on the Gregorian calendar. It's one of the most atypical pop songs ever recorded, but it's brilliant in its execution and delivery. "New York" is more straightforward. The City is viewed here as a siren luring unsuspecting friends to their doom. Bragg's melancholy vocal is full of regret and loss, with the processed guitar echoing the sustained notes of a church organ, giving the song a funereal air. Every track glistens with mystery thanks to the low-key production and Bragg's incomparable singing, making this unusual album a pure delight.
-j. poet - All Music Guide

"Harp Review of Silver Sonya"

The D.C.-area songwriter’s second full-length was crafted entirely with voice and guitar (and without Bragg’s band the Terminals), the sounds laid down naturally in Silver Sonya studio, then manipulated and skewed in post-production. The end result is quite lovely and mostly organic-sounding, a soft Elliott Smith-ish voice, a luminous guitar, and occasional forays into electronically-enhanced experiment. Bragg’s lyrics, too, blend the emotional directness you expect from guitar-based songwriting with wide-ranging and imagistic subject matter. There are songs, naturally, about love and loss, but “Plinian� laces an indie-pop jangle with references to ancient Rome, and “Alhacean� takes its central metaphor from medieval Arab geometry. “Lineless Sculpture� is both about a statue missing an arm and a lover missing his love, as subtly connected as good poetry. The record peaks with “March,� a complex mesh of fluting distortion, traditionally-strummed guitar and evocative lyrics. A strong, thoughtful outing.
By Jennifer Kelly - Harp Magazine


Meredith Bragg's first true solo album, "Silver Sonya", was released December 11, 2007.

Meredith Bragg and the Terminals' last CD, "The Departures EP", was released January 17, 2006. The band's full-length album, "Vol. 1", was released on July 12, 2005 on the Kora Records. Meredith also has songs on the following compilations:

This is Indie Rock, Volume 2
Deep Elm
Released: May, 2005
features: "New York"

Live on Third Rail Radio
WMUC Records
Released: December 11, 2003
features: "Empty Beds"

Shudder to Think Tribute
Engineer Records
Released: April 15, 2003
features: "Funeral at the Movies"

"The Departures EP" debuted at #89 the week of January 2, 2006 on the CMJ Top 200 chart and peaked at #71 for the week of January 9. "Vol. 1" was #13 in adds for June 6/7, 2005, debuted at #141 the week of June 13 on the CMJ Top 200 chart, and peaked at #78 for the week of July 5.

The band also has songs available for streaming at and



"Silver Sonya", released December 11, 2007 on the Kora Records, is the first album by Meredith Bragg without his usual backing band, the Terminals. Named for the studio in which it was recorded, "Silver Sonya" is a personal and immersive work, created solely from Meredith's voice and guitar. The album was recorded by Chad Clark (Beauty Pill, Smart Went Crazy) and T.J. Lipple (Aloha) at their studio, Silver Sonya. Songs from the new album have already been featured on NBC's show "Chuck" and CBS' "CSI".

Bragg's previous releases with the Terminals, "Vol. 1" and "The Departures EP", were highly acclaimed affairs, lauded by Magnet, Pitchfork Media, and Paste Magazine, among others. The band recently played a showcase at SXSW 2008 and, while there, performed live on KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic".

Bragg plans to record a new album with the Terminals in 2008. The Terminals usually consist of Brian Minter on piano/keyboards, Jonathan Roth on drums, and Elizabeth Olson on cello. So far, Meredith Bragg and the Terminals have shared the stage with notables such as the American Analog Set, Robyn Hitchcock, Maria Taylor, Dean and Britta, Owen, and Now It's Overhead.

Prior to starting his solo career, Meredith Bragg played in the Virginia-based band Speedwell. For over four years, Speedwell toured the eastern half of the United States extensively.