The Brilliant Mistakes
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The Brilliant Mistakes

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Americana Rock


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



"Salt Lake Tribune"

"The Brilliant Mistakes are no accident. The pop quartet has a knack for crafting bittersweet melodies that draw upon American pop, folk and soul sounds of the '60s and '70s."
- Utah

"WFUV-FM/NY Radio"

Clever, pure pop - New York City style. The Brilliant Mistakes make intelligent, well crafted music filled with instantly memorable hooks in the tradition of greats like Joe Jackson, Marshall Crenshaw, Richard Barone and others. - Darren DeVivo

"The Boston Globe"

"They took their name from an Elvis Costello song, but Brooklyn's Brilliant Mistakes copped a few other things from the bespectacled punk-pop icon: a knack for dispensing restlessly catchy hooks, a clever turn of phrase and frothy, piano-driven pop with heart, soul, and smarts." - Jonathan Perry

"Performing Songwriter"

Dumb Luck is a rousing set of great songs played with flair and fun. Everything's here--the melodies, the harmonies, the musicianship and the arrangements. As good as anything the majors and indies have put out anytime recently, these guys play pop the way it was done before "pop" was a dirty word. Like Ben Folds without the overdose of humor or early Weezer without the self-conscious irony. A must-have for anybody wondering where the next Alex Chiltons and Small Faces are hiding. - Performing Songwriter

"Portland Press Herald"

I love the Brilliant Mistakes. While they are certainly influenced by overseas artists like Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe,they have tapped into the American sound of bands like The Jayhawks and Wilco. Singer Alan Walker's voice reminds me of Karl Wallinger from World Party. But enough with the comparisons.... this band has both the songwriting and the sound to stand on their own. They've got terrific melodies and songs. - Aimsel Ponti

"The Village Voice"

I'm a sucker for a pretty girl or a good pop hook draped with velvet harmonies. Not sure if the boys of The Brilliant Mistakes have pretty girlfriends, but they sure have the hooks. Shove some Wilco/Jayhawks into old Squeeze and you get an idea of these guys. Producer Lincoln Schleifer has done a fine job on their new CD Dumb Luck. I think I'll play it for a pretty gal. - The Village Voice

""An absolute gem""

Distant Drumming is an intriguing collection of well-crafted rock songs with a healthy twangy bent reminiscent of similar efforts by Neil Young, Teenage Fanclub, Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Wilco and The Jayhawks. The title track is an absolute gem and recalls early 70s Beach Boys!" -

""Instantly Memorable""

"This New York City-based band play instantly memorable, guitar-driven pop music. The songs, all group originals, swim around your head after just one play through. "Pop" has become a much maligned musical genre, but here we have a band that gives back "pop" the integrity that has been eroded over the years. What we have here are pop songs for adult listeners, clothed in rich, yet not overdone, musical arrangements with a nod towards such classic bands as the Turtles, the Sutherland Brothers, the Byrds, Squeeze and even the Jayhawks. Highlights include the rich, evocative "Becoming," the hand-clapping "The Day I Found My Hands" and the slower, more dramatic "Good Year For A Change." - Maverick Magazine (UK)

""A recommendation on eMusic""

"I'm a little late to the party on this excellent NY act called The Brilliant Mistakes. Distant Drumming was released last year, five years after its predecessor Dumb Luck. And it was dumb luck that allowed me to find Distant Drumming as it was a recommendation on eMusic.

It took one spin to become enamored with this infectious album. It sounds as if the two principle songwriters, Erik Philbrook and Alan Walker, spent a weekend delving into vast record collections for inspiration. You'll hear everything from The Kinks, Squeeze, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello as well as some comparisons to newer acts like Sam Champion, The Long Winters and Wilco.

The 10 songs flow with ease and purpose making this more than just a random collection of tunes. My favorites include the reflective "Good Year For A Change," the lounge song "Becoming," and the poignant "Water Falling Down." They offer a brilliant closer in the alt-country number, "Wake Up Your Heart." Not enough good things to say about this gem. Just go download it." -, Woody

""One of the sweetest records of the year.""

"The Brilliant Mistakes' charming Distant Drumming grafts Daniel Johnston's demented pop sensibilities to the likeable faux-Americana stomp of Okkervil River, resulting in one of the sweetest records of the year so far. It is the sound of 100 indie record collections being perused and re-interpreted by some guys who cared more about pop music than you'd believe. Fuck it, go buy this record." -, Will Metcalfe


Three self-released albums: All Hands & The Cook (1999), Dumb Luck (2003) and Distant Drumming (2008). The band is also featured on Lowe Profile: A Tribute to Nick Lowe (Brewery Records, 2005). National radio airplay includes "Stupid Love Song" and the title track from Dumb Luck and "The Day I Found My Hands," "Good Year for a Change" and "The Circle's Not Broken" from Distant Drumming, most notably on WFUV-FM/NY. Numerous songs from Distant Drumming have also received extensive international online radio play and have been featured in podcasts.



The Brilliant Mistakes, the New York City-based band lauded for “restlessy catchy hooks, a clever turn of phrase and frothy, piano-driven pop with heart, soul and smarts” (The Boston Globe) struck a resonant chord with fans of timeless music with Distant Drumming, their latest album released on the band’s own Aunt Mimi’s Records. Produced by bassist Lincoln Schleifer (Levon Helm, Buddy Miller, Donald Fagen) the album was recorded at Lincoln’s Log Cabin in The Bronx, features guest musicians Mike Viola (The Candy Butchers, Walk Hard) and Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Ron Sexsmith) and was mastered by Fred Kevorkian (Ryan Adams, The White Stripes) in Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan.

Songwriter-bassist Erik Philbrook describes Distant Drumming as an album that is about “learning how to evolve with soul, wit, grit and grace,” a testament to the band’s slow-burn strategy after ten years together, three albums and countless gigs across the country, often joined by a rotating cast of guitarists, string and horn players.

This time out the band sought to create a more organic album, delving deeper in the studio, experimenting with dynamics, arrangements, atmosphere and instrumentation to create music not only rich in meaning and emotion, but one that mixes blasts of majestic rock with meditative and moody acoustic pop. The result is a radiantly melodic rock album, brimming with classic songcraft, vintage pop sounds and lush harmonies by a band that has long flown beneath the radar of the mainstream but are kindred spirits with such contemporary Americana envelope-pushers as Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Spoon.

The Mistakes were formed when songwriters Alan Walker and Philbrook met in book publishing in New York City in the mid-90’s. After receiving great acclaim for their mix of literate, earthy Americana and classic power pop on their first two albums, 1999’s All Hands & The Cook and 2003’s Dumb Luck, garnering national radio airplay and landing high-profile music festival appearances, the band has amassed a growing and dedicated fan base that stretches across the U.S., Europe, Japan and Australia.