In the summer of 2012, Trevor and Nick Tillery set in motion what would become brotherun. Despite living 1,600 miles apart at the time, they were sending song ideas back and forth until Trevor convinced Nick to join him in Nashville. This ultimately led to the creation of the four songs featured on their debut EP. “The Dissonance Between Us” was the first song penned by the brothers, as well as the first sign that they had incredible chemistry as writers and musicians. Indie music blog, Blah Blah Blah Science, described the song as “Neat and inventive bits of layering in the rhythm tracks and in the song’s flourishes of synth do well to complement the pacing and phrasing of ‘Dissonance’s’ excellent swath of emotively precise melodies.”
While the duo grew up in the same home and share many traits, Nick and Trevor came of age in two very different musical worlds. Trevor embarked on his path to songwriting while attending college in Seattle. Upon returning to his native home in Phoenix, he gathered some friends and started a rock band; they put out several releases, toured, gained attention, but eventually parted ways after five years. Trevor then set his eyes on Nashville, with no intention of being a performing and touring artist ever again. “I wanted to get into the songwriting / session world. I did that sporadically, but still felt a burning in me to be an artist and write my own songs. That feeling will never leave me.
Back in Phoenix, Nick came to the same conclusion about himself after taking a different musical route. While playing drums in a thrash metal band, he began dabbling in piano and singing in secret. Nick wrote his first song during his senior year of high school and “from then on, it just felt very natural to write songs.” A little over a year ago, the brothers began sending long-distance demos to each other, sparking the flame which ultimately led to Nick moving to Music City. There were growing pains at first, but their family bond has given them an advantage described by Trevor: “We have lived together most of our lives which has given us a greater understanding of one another. We don’t get into petty fights that are typical of most bands.” They know they have something special, and they’re running with it.
Trevor and Nick are heavily influenced by electronic music along with a vast array of other musicians. “We love what interesting textures, rhythms, and diverse electronic sounds can add to an already strong, organically-written song.” Their eclectic list of influences encompasses everyone from classical composers to Gorillaz, Beck, Arcade Fire, Frank Ocean, The Beatles, Ryan Adams, Talking Heads, James Blake, Odd Future, and St. Vincent.
Culling from a variety of sources and using a multitude of sounds, brotherun generates the skin and bones of their songs individually. First and foremost, they believe in writing songs that can stand on their own. After refining their individual core compositions, they work together to dress their songs up with beats, synths, guitars, and piano. Their sound is a hybrid of man and machine; organic and synthetic all at once. “We enjoy the sound of raw human emotion plugged into a machine.” Collectively, the brothers brought in over 25 songs to choose from for this EP and continue to write on a daily basis.
While the songwriting process came together naturally, the initial performance of these songs in a live setting was an obstacle. With a complex setup of keyboards, guitars, and drum pads played simultaneously by the two brothers, it is definitely a sight to be seen. They have been honing their live show at venues in Nashville and Phoenix for the last few months, along with regional tour dates planned this Fall/Winter. Since the release of the EP, the band has been attracting the attention of several notable blogs; specifically in the UK, where Goldflake Paint / Drowned In Sound ranked them 8th in their favorite new acts of 2013. For the remainder of the year and into 2014, brotherun intends to bleed their debut EP dry.