Misty Lyn’s music might have always been beautiful, but it carried with it a nuanced darkness, a wistful nostalgia and lovely melancholy. Maybe autumnal, is the best word for it? (I think it’s endemic to most of us Michiganders to have such romantic reverence for the “beautiful” chill of autumn.) Misty Lyn Bergeron, however, formed The Big Beautiful, and wrote songs about it.
Sweetly strengthened by her warm, breathy mid-range, their debut, For The Dead was flared by rich, layered folk elements (banjos, tambourines and strings) and a yearning Americana twang upon the instrumentation.
“My perspective has completely shifted from dark and heavy to a lighter, more joyful feel,” Bergeron said, last month, in the midst of sporadic nights recording BB’s 2nd LP, with other days’ spent writing songs for future recording, while still divvying up weekend performances between her own band and The Reconstruction—which is fronted by her friend, “a true musical genius,” Matt Jones, who lately is like her “right arm.”
“(Jones and I)’ve been playing together for eight years and no one has given me more musical support. It’s an invaluable gift to have someone that knows you that well; someone who can just look at you and say: ‘Dude, that sucks!’ or ‘That’s amazing…I wish I wrote it!’ and you can trust it.” The Pinckney-raised, Ypsi-set songwriter said she’s “truly humbled” by her Beautiful band mates (Ryan Gimpert, Carol Grey, Matt Jones and Jim Roll), “what a gift.”
Aside from joining the Reconstruction, being obsessed with National Geographic Magazine, and connecting with her spiritual side, Bergeron’s been focused on the forthcoming LP – which she’d love to release before winter, but “I want it done right.” Hopefully soon, though, just for her nerves, since she’s already written enough for a possible EP – likely to kick off her 2012. Keep eyes/ears peeled for an album release show.
Speaking of albums and of Big Beautiful band members, Jim Roll is finally recording himself. Yes, the man who works so hard to help Arbor/Ypsi bands make the best records possible, is currently focusing on his own stuff again. This will be his first solo album in ten years, propped by a mid-summer’s Kickstarter campaign, met with the help of friends, fans and likely some of his many clientele.
The Backseat Productions chief said his record “could go a few different directions.” His mind races over possibilities and aesthetics, having honed his craft so long; perhaps it will be “textured a bit more with guitars and ambient keyboards and pianos,” but still “melody-oriented…but also more rocking!”
His initial concept was to form an audio graphic novel set in a future dystopia, with intricate quasi-comic-book-ish heroes, tragic and daring and surreal. He’s got it written out, I can’t wait to hear how it’s recorded.
Roll has absorbed so much musical acuity from the myriad musicians he’s recorded. “Every melody gets under my skin.” His combination of heart, pure passion and musical feel, with all he’s learned from clients and his knack for communication, should make for an interesting album experience. “It’s hard to work on my own music because I give so much of that energy to the bands that record (at Backseat).” He’s still playing with Bergeron as well as Drunken Barn Dance, too.
It’s gonna be a beautiful autumn, for Roll (and Bergeron). In Roll’s case, he’s getting married to “passionate, brilliant” Bee Mayhew, the owner of Beezy’s Café in Ypsilanti, who he “learns things (from) every day…that and laughs and love and support.”