“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. Within two rehearsals, a five-way chemistry became glaringly evident. Originally listed on the bill as “Bern,” at the mic, Malavarca introduced the band as “Bern & the Brights.” 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.
Two years later Bern & the Brights are rapidly growing to be one of North Jersey’s most promising bands. In this short time, the band has performed nearly 200 shows, has been selected as The Aquarian Weekly’s 2010 “On the Verge Band,” has been featured on 101.9RXP during the Local Licks segment on The Rock Show with Matt Pinfield and Leslie Framm, and has been highlighted as one of the top 300 NYC-area bands by The Deli Magazine, among such artists as Titus Andronicus, Ra Ra Riot, The National, and Vampire Weekend. And in their first year alone they earned the NYC Emerging Artist of December 2008 and were highlighted among the top 50 NYC Emerging Artists of 2008 at The Deli Magazine, sharing that category with other indie artists including: Chairlift, The Vivian Girls, and April Smith and the Great Picture Show.
In their short time, the band has opened for such notable artists as Butch Walker, Rhett Miller [of the Old 97s,] Nicole Atkins and the Black Sea, Living Colour, and Mike Doughty [of Soul Coughing]. They’ve toured the northeast coast and have graced the stages of some major venues including Webster Hall, Max
Swing Shift Maisies, The Boxer
Bern & the Brights, The Frames, The National, Mumford & Sons, Broken Social Scene