Bridges of Königsberg is an experimental rock band from Chicago, IL.
Bridges first began back in 2009 as an experimentation between bassist Paul Petrosyan and guitarist Matt Brakel. Both had previously recorded solo work that was passed around amongst friends, and with a mutual appreciation of their eclectic - if sometimes eccentric music, they met to try writing together. After their initial collaboration proved more rewarding than either had originally anticipated, they began to write together more frequently, and before long found themselves questioning if they could perform and write music as a band. Matt’s partner Beth Hoffman, a keyboardist and singer, joined writing sessions soon after. Paul reached out to his friend Aaron Krause, a drummer who previously played with Paul in another band named Inocula. Shortly thereafter, Bridges of Königsberg was created.
To describe Bridges’ music is easiest through understanding the musicians themselves. The title of their initial 2010 release, “We Have Many Faces”, was more revealing than they could have known. The self-produced EP showed the members had a wide and varied musical background, as foundations of post-rock were revitalized with a more cinematic approach through progressive and electronic elements. Melodies were memorable, and interlaced around complex shifts in timing as well as a strong, sobering atmosphere. Perhaps most important, the music stood as its own entity. Nothing sounded quite like it, and instead of adhering to any inspiration or genre in particular, the band instead focused on the notion of creating music to surprise and satisfy themselves, much like their initial experimentation and collaboration had allowed.
This approach becomes stronger with their 2011 LP titled "The Five Colors.” Atmosphere, melody, and intricacy continued to be fundamental throughout the album, but now an even broader palette of concepts were being explored. In songs like Feathers Wrapped in Metal, elements of pop and shoegaze contrasted with instrumental tracks such as synth-driven The Moon Cries for Mars, the mathy Seals & Sanctions, and the ambient electronic soundscape called Gathering Spirits (Soon to be Butterflies). Throughout the album, Bridges displayed creativity, emotional depth - and discipline. As a result, the album not only remained surprisingly consistent, but felt like an evolution and stronger focus to what Bridges had been trying to capture with their music.
Bridges’ latest 2014 release “Close to Everything and Nothing” is a culmination of their journey as both individual musicians and as a group. Instrumental roots remain a key aspect of Bridges’ sound, but beyond tasteful bass work, Paul has deliberately brought his voice to the forefront of most songs for the new album. His impressive progression as a vocalist adds a distinctly emotional, honest, and humanizing aspect to the music. As a (long-overdue) result, Beth offers more back-up vocals alongside her already memorable piano and synth passages. Matt retains his imaginative guitar work while expanding on versatility through creative use of effects and synthesizers, and his contributions result in a lush atmosphere throughout the album. Aaron’s creative drumming remains the solid foundation in which Bridges has always been built, and the complexity - and occasional restraint - in his percussion lends to an engaging cohesiveness. Overall, the album captures an incredibly genuine sense of vulnerability and humanity; a warmth where the listener is free to get lost.
For those willing to listen, Bridges of Königsberg has its own personal story to tell; a story within every song, but also within the life of the band itself. What started as a curiosity has turned into an endeavor - an expression - of four people trying to surprise and challenge themselves. The reward, over time, is for the listener to experience how the sentiment is expressed. The results can be erratic, inspired, alienating, profound. It leaves a measure of uncertainty - but for Bridges, the reward will always be in the discovery.
Written by Kevin Clark (Sioum)