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  • Writer's pictureHana Eid


The Nashville indie-rock scene breaches new territory with local band Brightback. Their debut, self-titled album includes 7 songs, all of which provide the refreshing, driving-with-the-windows down vibe listeners are yearning for as summer comes to a close. With sweeping, soulful electric guitar licks and witty, pop-sensible lyricism, “Brightback” is an album worth listening to.

Brightback was formed in the fall of 2021. Andrew Wachtel’s songwriting is supplemented by his talented band of musicians – Cole Davin (lead guitar), Frank Dorton (drums, percussion), and Cameron Bertolet (bass guitar). Wachtel also acts as the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and keyboardist for the band. When asked about their thoughts on the album, Brightback describes it as “a body of work that showcases our versatility. We’re mostly proud of the fact we produced a record with raw and personal songwriting, while keeping it fun and upbeat.”

One interesting story they note about the album is that: “people keep asking about our song ‘Cheeze in the Freeze’ and it’s been interesting to see people try to extrapolate a metaphor or find meaning in the name. Frank left our cheese in our freezer while I was writing the song, therefore ruining our cheese. Hopefully this clears the air about that one.” To those anxiously awaiting – you heard it here first.

In addition, Wachtel describes to us in detail what inspired the two singles off the album: “Told Ya So” and “Kinda Broke”. He says: “Told Ya So is what I call a combative song. It was one of the first songs that I wrote that I actually enjoyed, though the last verse was added significantly later. I added the last verse because I don’t think that writing a combative song is

very creative, enlightening, or new. It is easy to look outwards, towards someone else and tell them what they’re doing wrong. It is much harder to look inwards and balance your emotions and intentions with someone else’s. I tried to find that balance on ‘Told Ya So'. ‘Kinda Broke’ is a song that I wrote in high school when I had no money and was driving around with $5 in my gas tank. I felt under pressure and the song pretty much tries to put that into perspective, using 1st person during the verses and 3rd person in the chorus. Stressing about your situation and feeling pity for yourself are the verses, and the chorus is telling myself to let that emotion go and to keep carrying on.”

Beyond the record, Brightback hosted their first show coined “BrightbackFest”. While many performers find their first show to be nerve-wracking, Brightback was met with love from approximately 250 people during their set, which the band described as nothing other than “heartwarming.” Wachtel tells us: “I even met a few people who found our singles on Spotify and lived in Nashville, so they decided to come out, which was crazy to me. Everyone has been genuinely nice and thoughtful. I never expected anyone to learn our lyrics and sing them back to us, so I’m just grateful for that experience.”

Fans are hungry for more, and fortunately, Brightback made sure to let us know that this is only the beginning. They are currently working on two projects simultaneously right now, one of which may be out as soon as spring of 2023. They suggest you keep up with them on social media to stay in the loop. You know what to do!

In the meantime, look forward to more shows in the upcoming weeks. I, for one, am excited to see where this rising Belmont band goes as they continue to release more music and hone their unique indie-rock sound.

For more information for bookings or interviews for Brightback, feel to contact them through their website.

Make sure to follow The Tower to stay updated on new shows, new music, and more!

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