Bern and The Brights, Val Emmich

Bern and The Brights

“Starchild” and “Lost in the Sea” comprise our latest release. These songs debut as a couplet because they go together like peas and carrots, both sonically and thematically. Each of the tunes spill at the brim with undeniable melancholic frustrations with the superficiality of the times, but the angst is assuaged by a skeptical humor, an uplifting vibe, and a touchy-feely message: love is the law.

The expansive musical expression of these two songs is our offering of a hopefulness, an airiness of soul, a spark of inspiration, and a reminder that the answer is in the sunset. Keep riding toward it with your stereo blasting, and in that bliss is everything—the sour, the sweet, the poetry, and the party.

We are a group of individuals who process life through music and have a relentless, stubborn, and compulsive need to create and share our music with as many people as we can. We are completely unhip because we don’t know what hip means and never think about it. We are elusive in terms of genre (due to a teeming stew of influences, indecision, and a general inability to control our musical ids). Our aim, with every musical noise that we conjure, is to make hearts burst, faces melt, mouths kiss, and bodies move. In short, we are here to bring you an emotional conglomerate including our love, and to win your heart forevermore. And our fans have ours, sincerely. No fake exchanges allowed.


“Bern & the Brights” began as just a phrase, a gnawing hunch that woke singer Bernadette Malavarca in the middle of some night way ahead of the band’s formation. She jotted it in a notebook with the rest of the thought: “Gonna start a band. It’ll be Bern & the Brights . . . should be sleeping.”

In 2008, by happenstance, the members came together to play one show at a local bookstore-closing. With amps cranked and drums pounding in a room completely inappropriate for a concert, plaster falling from the walls onto tipped over bookcases, an audience with eyes affixed on the band, rows of Converse tapping throughout each song, it was clear B&TB were onto something special.

Since then, B&TB have been quite busy. They have performed nearly 300 shows in the tri-state area and beyond, released two EPs, travelled the airwaves, and received warm reviews across the country and the seas.

The band is known for their evocative and energetic live show. With radiant chemistry and strong musicianship, they create an infectious, positive emotionality that takes over and transforms any room. Their fan base, playfully referred to as The Light Brigade, is ever-growing and spans a broad range of people who connect with the band’s organic and romantic sound. Their sound has been described as “effortless genre-bending,” and they have been compared to stalwart artists such as R.E.M., Dave Matthews Band, Jeff Buckley, and Coldplay.

Bern & the Brights are currently working on finishing a series of studio recordings and continuing regional touring for 2011.

Val Emmich

Val Emmich. He's the Jesse guy from Ugly Betty, right? No wait, he's the dude who dated Tina Fey in 30 Rock--the "Gay for Jamie" dude. And didn't I see him on a Macys commercial recently with P Diddy and Jennifer Lopez?

Yes to all of the above. His recent exposure as an actor may obscure the fact that when it comes to music, New Jersey native Val Emmich is a lifer. He told Page Six, "The acting thing snuck up on me." Emmich's main focus has always been his music, as evidenced by his prolific output.

His latest album, LOOKING FOR A FEELING YOU NEVER KNEW YOU NEEDED, marks his seventh full-length solo effort in nearly a decade. People Magazine called him "the real deal." Entertainment Weekly labeled him a "breakout singer." The New York Times said he's "a rocker who rocks to his own beat."

Emmich (pronounced Em-ik) recorded LOOKING FOR A FEELING in Long Branch, NJ with the production team Near Records. The result is a kaleidoscope of sounds and textures including kinetic dance numbers ("Sidekick"), airy soundscapes ("Come Clean") and straight-up rockers ("Don't Wanna Go Home"). Lurking just beneath the surface are poignant stories of people trying to find their place in the world: there's the west coast transplant 3,000 miles from her family in "E.S.T.", the restless soul seeking a new beginning in "Change of Scenery" and the man returning to the place he once called home in "Gone." Emmich embodies all of them and somehow--despite some dark moments--supplies a beam of light that pulls the listener through to the slow decay of the album's final note.

If there's one thing that ties together the many facets of Emmich's art, it's passion. It's easy to write that word in a bio, but another thing to show it. At live shows, you'll find a man often unhinged, shirt soaked-through and guitar smashed to pieces; he's toured with artists ranging from Gavin DeGraw and Butch Walker to the Gym Class Heroes and Dashboard Confessional. And his life in front of the camera isn't limited to acting. He was the first unsigned artist featured on MTV's "TRL" and he's produced dozens of music and promo videos that show his lighter side while maintaining his acute attention to detail; check out the video for "The Only One Lonely" which won him an Independent Music Award. Oh, and he's also written a novel that he's currently pitching.

So who is this guy? He's hard to pin down, and while that isn't the quickest sell in our sound bite culture, it's probably that which will give Emmich longevity. He's been called a Renaissance man. When asked about the musician role originally meant for John Mayer, an "Ugly Betty" producer told the New York Times: "There was just this quiet storm to Val." That probably says it all right there.



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