Sweet SoCal sounds from sweet home Alabama
Belying their religious upbringing in Alabama, The Bridges—three sisters, a brother and a cousin, aged 18 to 24—base their sound on Fletwood Mac and the balmy West Coast folk-rock of The Mamas and the Papas. Logically, the Byrd siblings and their cousin Brittany Painter recorded their debut in L.A. with producer Matthew Sweet and string wizard Greg Leisz, who fashioned settings that showcase the sisters’ billowing blood harmonies as they alternately surround and counterpoint Painter’s accomplished lead vocals. Powered by Natalie Byrd’s piano, the verses of opener “All the Words” hit the choruses like waves crashing against Big Sur rocks. “Echo” features stunning multipart vocal interplay buoyed by Leisz’s pillowy pedal steel, and “Under the Sun” swells to symphonic grandeur. Throughout, the group’s blend of emotional innocence and musical sophistication is matched by something just as disarming—a complete absence of irony and cynicism.