On the Verge: Bronze Radio Return

Meaghan O'Brien, Bronze Radio Return

The WERS studio was crowded this afternoon when Bronze Radio Return stopped by to play a couple songs for On the Verge. The Hartford Connecticut based band is made up of six musicians: Chris Henderson, Patrick Fetkowitz, Robert Tanen, Matthew Warner, Robert Griffith, and Craig Struble.  Everyone was in high spirits as they set up their many instruments: piano, banjo, bass, two guitars, drums, tambourine, and even a set of ankle-bells. Before going live, the band took a few minutes to jam out, or as they put it, “goof off.”

Bronze Radio Return released their third full-length album last June, titled Up, On, and Over. The album features fifteen indie-rock songs, all recorded during five weeks the band spent on a farm in Virginia together. Even if you have not had a chance to listen to the full album yet, chances are you may have already heard a song or two. Bronze Radio Return has had their music featured in dozens of commercials as well as soundtracks for popular television shows. Lead vocalist and guitar player Henderson explained the benefits of getting a song in a commercial; “It seems like there isn’t a straight formula for success in the music industry anymore.  There’s a lot of different ways to get your music out there, and this is an avenue to get music out there for a lot of people… The bottom line is more people hear our music, more people come to our shows, more people become a part of what we try to do.”

In-studio, the band first played a steady mid-tempo rock song titled “Down There.” The four-part harmonies and impressive banjo lines are reminiscent of Mumford and Sons, the band to which Bronze Radio Return is perhaps most often compared. However, the overall tone of their music is arguably more rock-inspired. “Down There” is inspired by simple imagery. “It’s nothing more than saying ‘I’ll see you down there’ to a friend,” Henderson says. “Whether it’s out in the woods at a campfire, passing a bottle of whiskey around, or doing crazy stuff with your friends in a city, it’s a song about getting together and having a good time.” The band undoubtedly takes this message to heart, because they all clearly had a good time making music together in the WERS studio.

The second song of the set, titled “Further Down,” was the first single off Up, On, and Over as well as the record’s first music video. The song is incredibly catchy, and sure to get audiences dancing and clapping along, however, it almost did not make it onto the album. “That was one of the last songs we picked for the album,” Henderson laughs, “But we had such a fun time making it and it’s one we all enjoy performing when we’re jumping around at shows. It made sense to make a video for that song and promoting that upbeat feel.” The band describes the song as their anthem for pushing themselves, and it’s sure to become the same for listeners.

With so many talented musicians from various backgrounds making up one band, one might expect Bronze Radio Return to face difficulties writing music together. Yet they describe the process as very democratic and collaborative, and it’s obvious they have a lot of fun playing together.

By Mary Kennedy
Photo By Meaghan O’Brien

If you liked this, check out:
On the Verge: Heathers
Hurray for the Riff Raff Live In Studio

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