“Touring America feels like home to us,” says frontman Jamie White, who founded the band in 2010 with fellow singer-guitarist-songwriter Matthew O’Toole and brothers Craig and Darryn Bruce, who play drums and bass respectively. “Being somewhere where people aren’t afraid to engage you has been a revelation, and we feel like we’ve already made a lot of new friends in America.”
The London-based foursome has already stirred up considerable critical acclaim and substantial fan interest on both sides of the Atlantic. Suburban Sunshine has been met with upbeat reviews since its U.S. release in June on the SonaBLAST! label, winning such significant honors as an Album of the Week notice by New York Daily News critic Jim Farber.
Meanwhile, Et Tu Brucé played in front of rabidly enthusiastic crowds on its first American tour, which ran through June and July and included successful swings through the Northeast and Midwest, as well as a smashingly successful record-release party at SubCulture in New York.
Many of the band’s initial American dates — including a rapturously received set at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas that kicked off the Yahoo!/Austin Psych Fest Showcase — were as opening act for British Invasion legends the Zombies.
With rousing hooks, infectious melodies, organic vocal harmonies and inventive instrumental textures, Et Tu Brucé draws upon a broad range of vintage rock, folk, pop, and country influences to make music that’s effortlessly contemporary yet timelessly resonant. The band’s expansive vocal, instrumental, songwriting and production skills animate such memorably catchy tunes as “This City,” “Memories Remain” and “Never Say Trevor Again,” making Suburban Sunshine one of the most impressive musical debuts in recent memory.
“I’ve read countless descriptions of our music, and we’ve been called all kinds of things,” notes Jamie White. “The word ‘pop’ rarely seems to come up in those descriptions, but that’s how we think of ourselves. It feels like there’s a bit of a stigma attached to that word, but when I think of pop, I think of the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, ELO and Jellyfish, rather than what’s fed to us by radio today.”
“But we’ve never been too worried about labeling ourselves,” White continues. “Our approach has always been to make music we like and music we’re proud of, on a very small budget.”
Since its formation in 2010, Et Tu Brucé has won a formidable reputation as a uniquely compelling live act, initially on the London club circuit, where the quartet quickly won headlining status at such notable venues as the Half Moon and the Hope and Anchor. Their first single, “This City”/”Never Seen You Cry,” was played on such influential stations as BBC 6 Music, BBC London and X-FM, setting the stage for the band’s first full-length album. Upon its U.K. release in late 2012, Suburban Sunshine was dubbed “the sound of summer” by Best of British Unsigned and received year-end nominations for Best British Band by the Online Music Awards and Album of the Year by the Indie Music Digest.
Now, with more stateside touring in the offing and a second album already in the can, Et Tu Brucé is set to continue making major noise on both sides of the pond.
“The next album is different from Suburban Sunshine, but it still sounds like us,” White states, adding, “It always comes out sounding like us. We're very pleased with it, but right now, we’re concerned with getting out there again and playing in front of as many people as possible, and carrying on the momentum that we’ve built.”
“Playing live is what we love to do most,” White says. “It’s the only place you can get instantaneous and personal communication. We’re still learning, and we’re willing to go anywhere, as we’ve always been since we started making music together. At this point, our only plan is to continue to make music and see how far we can take it, and see who wants to come along with us on the journey.”
Dave DiMartino in Yahoo! Music and RollingStone.com called the band “contemporary sounding, but with the same ear for hooks that made their forefathers so essential . . . worth watching.”
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