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Music

Becoming Bristol Combat Suicide and Offer Hope on "Brighter Days" (premiere)

Photo: Jake Gravbrot

Becoming Bristol's second single "Brighter Days" is wonderfully poppy and life-affirming and benefits suicide prevention efforts.

Newfound Washington quartet Becoming Bristol—Tyler Mays, Manny Gounder, and brothers Britt and Jack Espinosa—have an interesting gimmick to get your attention: a new single released every month until the end of the year. This past July, they issued "Sort Myself Out" to great reception, and now they're capping off August with a life-affirming pop-rock gem called "Brighter Days". Produced and mixed by Brooks Paschal and inspired by "a suicide experience" that happened to a friend of frontman Britt, the track's sparkling production, luminous instrumentation, smooth singing, and inspiring lyrics make it both superficially alluring and deeply hopeful. As such, it's a vital song to hear as September (which is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month) arrives.

The band's name comes from "the legend of a traveler named Bristol, who caused entire towns to stir with kindness and generosity", so it's no surprise that their mission statement is to "create a sense of togetherness and potential" with everything they do. "Brighter Days" certainly lives up to that ambition. Beginning with digital beats, compassionate vocals, and other dreamy timbres—all of which eventually evolve into a lusher, more vibrant arrangement that includes acoustic guitar strums, drums, and intersecting vocals—it's wonderfully colorful and uplifting musically. Of course, Britt's words are equally important, with lines like "It's easy to throw away / A life riddled with cuts and scars / There's something still left to save / It's at the core of who you are / So push on to the brighter days / You don't know what you're worth" radiating empathy, understanding, and resolution.

Britt expands upon the composition by adding, "'Brighter Days' is a song about realizing that life has value, and that while everything may not be okay, there is always a reason to push on. The song draws from an experience with suicide I had with a close friend of mine. Thankfully, my friend is still around. Depression makes a person become myopic, which is such a dangerous place to be. But ironically, I think the solution requires a level of near-sightedness. For my friend, it was making the simple decision to go to bed each night with the intention of waking up. Small victories lead to larger victories, which eventually lead to our eyes being opened."

In that spirit, Becoming Bristol is donating 100% of all sales and streaming revenue to the Anthem of Hope charity (which offers community groups, training programs, and 24/7 crisis lines to help whoever needs it). You can help support the band and the cause by purchasing the track here.

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