Review: Hartford natives Bronze Radio Return release new album

Bronze Radio Return is a band you’ve probably never heard of before, yet there is a good chance that you have heard them without knowing it. They have independently sold over 100,000 singles, had over 29 million Spotify and YouTube streams and have found a spot on over 100 placements. (OneTigerFan/Flickr)

Bronze Radio Return is a band you’ve probably never heard of before, yet there is a good chance that you have heard them without knowing it. They have independently sold over 100,000 singles, had over 29 million Spotify and YouTube streams and have found a spot on over 100 placements ranging from the 2014 film St. Vincent, to Nissan, Coca-Cola and Starbucks commercials. They’ve graced the stages at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Firefly and more.

The Hartford, Connecticut natives Bronze Radio Return recently released their electric new album entitled, “Light Me Up,” on Oct. 16.

The six-piece band is comprised of Chris Henderson on vocals and guitar, Patrick Fetkowitz on guitar, Rob Griffith on drums and vocals, Matt Warner on keys and vocals, Bob Tanen on bass and vocals and Craig Struble on harmonica and banjo.

“I learned a lot about music from listening to this beautiful, old bronze tube radio that my dad had," Henderson said of the creation of the band via its website. "Everyone in the band shares a similar lineage of being influenced by the music we grew up with. We all figuratively had our own Bronze radio. It’s a return of our inspirations and collective interpretation of it. That’s what this band is."

They are one of the most eclectic sounding bands to come out of Connecticut with influences ranging from pop, folk, electronic, country, blues and funk. They are a band without one genre and yet their entire record is cohesive from top to bottom with a delicious use of distortion.

Their song “Light Me Up” starts with distorted guitar, “Nowhere To Be” with a ukulele and “Build A Stage” begins with a piano keeping the listener continually second-guessing Bronze Radio Return’s sound. 

Although experimental, the record is centered with a clear sonic direction and overarching theme. They’ve honed the craft of electro pop/folk, which results in a beautiful and dynamic blending of acoustic and electronic influences. 

Fans of alt-J, Milky Chance, and The Lumineers will enjoy Bronze Radio Return. 

Their new record, “Light Me Up,” is pop enough to be called an off-kilter form of Top 40 with some indie flavor. It’s got a very positive attitude throughout the album with distorted moving bass lines, quirky synths, textured drums and a charismatic folky voice. There is a tasteful use of harmonies, which bring some warmth to many of the tracks as well. Ultimately, this is pop music that is the farthest thing from hollow—there is real heart to these songs. 

On their website, Henderson said, “This band is the sum of its parts. We focus on songs in the studio and energy on stage. We love to incorporate different elements to create a diverse listening experience. For as fun as it is, we spend a lot of time writing about themes that are meaningful to us.” 

Notable tracks on the record are “Light Me Up,” “Build A Stage,” and “Pocket Knife.”

There is an undeniable optimism in their new album “Light Me Up” with themes of relaxation, contentment and brotherhood. In “Nowhere To Be” Henderson sings, “With time to kill and days to see / I could end up anywhere I please,” going on to sing “Either way I’ll use the time to decompress / before I’m back again I’m cutting loose.” Their record is a perfect jam for a slow weekend drive with friends. 

Bronze Radio Return is back and eclectic as ever in their new project. You might not have known them, but you’ve probably heard them. You never really know what to call them, but it works.


Brett Steinberg is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at brett.steinberg@uconn.edu. He tweets @officialbrett.