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MP3 Brandon Wiard - To Someone I Know

Lush indie-pop. For fans of Ben Kweller, Elvis Costello, Wilco, Weezer, Rufus Wainwright, Old 97''s, Teenage Fanclub and The Beatles.

10 MP3 Songs
POP: Power Pop, POP: Beatles-pop

Some people collect newspapers.
Some people wash their hands thirty times a day.
Some people think Star Trek is real.

Brandon Wiard writes songs.

What started out as singing Hall & Oates'' "Maneater" in a stroller at JC Penney''s would eventually transform into Wiard''s own form of lush midwest-pop...

Growing up Brandon was always losing sleep in favor of painting, photography, film and poetry but music regained her rightful stranglehold at the age of fifteen. Needless to say his first band was a mistake, but like most first romances, the damage was done and his new path was set. Brandon quickly formed a new group and dubbed the project "Starmotel". A mix of indie-rock and classic pop sensibility, the band meandered over the next three years.

Eventually college cut the musical "apron strings" and Wiard started his solo career in the fall of 2001. "To Someone I Know", a collection of his own songs and some co-written with his old bandmate, was independently released in November 2001. In lieu of having a band he performed his arsenal of songs with just an acoustic guitar and a golden throat. To date he has opened for such national acts as Mason Jennings, David Dondero, Mike Viola, Hey Mercedes, Clem Snide, Joseph Arthur, The Church, The Divine Comedy, Ours and many others. He has already toured both coasts, playing at such venues as The Knitting Factory in Hollywood, CA and Grammyfest (a Grammy''s sponsored gig) at Maxwell''s in Hoboken, NJ. He has just been asked to play the 2004 Midpoint Music Festival in Cincinnati, OH, Dewey Beach Music Fest in Dewey Beach, DE
M.E.A.N.Y. FEST 2004 in New York, NY, The Mid-Atlantic Music Conference in Charlotte, NC and The Midwest Entertainment Industry Conference in Lexington, KY.

His new album, "Painting A Burning Building" features members of Ozma, The Singles, The Verve Pipe, Saturday Looks Good To Me and Blues Traveler, among others. 2 songs from the album were in the top 1500 for the 2004 Billboard Songwriting Competition.

It is the result of two years without food, sleep or rational thought.

Lush indie-pop intended for tight-fitting headphones and attentive listening.

It also sounds pretty good cranked-up on a makety car-stereo.

As witty as he is sincere, Wiard''s songs will break your heart and then offer to drive you home.

"https://www.tradebit.com" REVIEW OF

"WOW! Love when these great CD''s arrive out of the blue---never heard of Wiard, but we`re hoping all you will soon be ''hep'' to this impossibly ambitious and catchy affair. Fans of Matthew Sweet, The Lemonheads, The Candy Butchers, classic Elvis Costello and Teenage Fanclub pay attention, please. Wiard has a firm grasp on melody and orchestration but there is song-after-song of sucker punch surprises with felicitous, wholly satisfying hooks laying the foundation."

-Bruce Brodeen



"You speak German," Brandon Wiard gushes, after complimenting the object of "Already in Amazement" on how great she looks in blue jeans. By the time it is discovered that she also plays the cello, it''s impossible not to guess and endorse Wiard''s next rhyme - "I feel my legs turning to Jell-O..." This is because simplistic bliss like this makes indie pop antithetical to agenda. There''s no proving how dirty your guitar tone is, or "songs" that amount to jagged treatises on apathy toward the listener. Like work from the Apples in Stereo, Saturday Looks Good to Me, or even Ben Kweller, Wiard''s Painting a Burning Building coats its craft in the gooey white love foam of Casiotone and melodica, horn sections and sleigh bells. It''s here to entertain, but also to be wistful about the little things, painting in primary color, conveying emotion but keeping the output planar, like a Roy Lichtenstein print hanging in a bedroom mini-studio. There are songs about girls ("Amazement"; the bittersweet strings and piano of "Caroline"), songs strengthened by their vocal presence (the anthemic "Moving On"), and the inevitable trip into winding pop concept grandiosity, the story of a relationship buffeted by strong winds and stronger wills. "Old Heartless Sun" is that concept cut on Burning Building - aided and abetted by members of the Original Brothers and Sisters of Love, it crests from introduction into surging conflict and finally to whatever-may-come resolve. (Wiard takes care to specify contributions and demarcate the song''s sections in the liners.) The track also sets up the album''s thematic second half, where "Second Story" cases the joint before getting to crystallizing lyrics like "I wanna be your boyfriend...I''ll be the sugar in your coffee...the light of your smoke," and reprises and preludes ponder and refract the shapes and moods of Burning Building''s particular simmer. This isn''t overdoing it. Wiard is working within a framework that allows for broad strokes as long as they''re mostly brightly colored, which his definitely are. Besides, early numbers like "Miss Michigan" - laced with more of Wiard''s sardonic lyrical twists - provide concise counterbalance for the lengthier flights. Painting a Burning Building has a sturdy melodic glisten overall, nice production work throughout, and the kind of intent that should entice fans of rendered pop that''s attentive to life''s most common flaws and feelings.

- Johnny Loftus

"https://www.tradebit.com" REVIEW OF

To date there are countless indie acoustic bands singing about love, loss, cigarettes and late night fast food. However, Brandon Wiard''s ''Painting a Burning Building'' begs not to be tossed into the old vintage storage trunk just yet. He''s a just a boy trying to get through this world in a slightly starry-eyed daze of contentment and peaceful musing. And if there is a lady companion, then everybody raise a glass and throw some money into his open guitar case because his candid, yearning, stream-of-consciousness serenades must be working.

Clearly Brandon Wiard is indie rock/pop. I''d almost like to say Midwestern, but somehow I get a coastal feel from it. What sets him apart from the rest of the acoustic junkies is that for one thing, his last name is pronounced ''wired.'' Yeah, I thought that it was ''weird'' too. Actually I kind of liked it that way.

..While listening to Painting a Burning Building, I couldn''t help being reminded of Rilo Kiley in their Takeoffs & Landings days but if Jenny Lewis was John Mayer. And rocked harder.

Another thing I find interesting about Wiard is that he''s a leader of the underdogs. Musically speaking. I''m surprised I haven''t heard this on the radio before. It''s perfect to blast driving now the highway to Nowheresville or pop into the walkman for those thoughtful walks on the beach...

Personal faves include "Miss Michigan," "Permanent Smile," "Caroline," and "Old Heartless Sun." I might have to send a plea to The WB to use "Miss Michigan" in one of their angst teen dramas. And whoever Caroline is, she''s a lucky girl. Wiard''s a skilled songwriter- he''s got all the instrumental elements down to pluck that certain heartstring (my personal favorite being the moog. And no, not just because it''s fun to say . ok maybe a little). The piano solos are sure to get stuck in your head, and I''m a sucker for any crazy medleys hidden in the back tracks. They''re odd, completely differently styled, but amusing. Of course the lyrics are of the most important elements, and boy are they something. There''s not really one theme you can use to characterize Wiard, but you''re sure to hear many a tune about girls, moving on, growing up and disillusioned https://www.tradebit.com''s all neatly packaged with drums, guitars, violins, and pianos and of course that crazy moog. And throw in a choir, why not...

"https://www.tradebit.com" REVIEW OF

"...Songs like "Miss Michigan" will not just give warmth to the CMJ crowd but also to those casual observers of pop flare. Mostly however it''s the cautious tale telling that will remain closest to the heart, but it certainly is dependent on the great hooks that urge you to continue listening."


"...a pop-music singer-songwriter of a caliber that defies both his youth and his quiet nature..."


"''Painting A Burning Building'' only confirms what I knew all along, Brandon Wiard is a masterful songwriter who isn''t afraid to take chances in the studio, chances that are bound to pay off."


"''Painting A Burning Building'' is a stunner-hook laden and sonically intricate, while never obscuring Wiard''s unusual melodies and heartfelt evocative songs...12 tracks represent a singer and a songwriter of unusual depth and talent. Ranging from lush sea chanteys to heart-shattering love songs, the record exceeds the sum of its considerable parts."


"...the songs tell stories of innocence turned into experience in nuanced, charming verses...Wiard is one to watch."


"The sound is gorgeous, as the songs shuffle along over acoustic guitars and sparsely played piano on one track just to move to a punky slice of indie pop on another. This endearing flexibility is instrumental in keeping the album fresh, showing that Wiard has a firm grasp on melody and orchestration."


"...these songs transcend the puppy-love cliches and bitter sweet angst that might be expected from a young musician...he has established himself as a master songwriter..."

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