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Brighten band.jpg
Brighten playing a live show
Background information
OriginChico, California, U.S.
GenresPop rock, Indie Rock
Alternative country
Alternative rock
Years active2004 – present
LabelsMajor, Action Theory Records
Associated actsFog Breathers, A Rocket to the Moon, Austin Gibbs and the States, Dan + Shay
MembersJustin Richards
Alex Draper
Jimmy Richards

Brighten is a pop rock band from Chico, California, consisting of brothers Justin (guitar, lead vocals) and Jimmy (drums) Richards, and Alex Draper (bass, backing vocals). The band has recently been on tour with This Providence, Cute Is What We Aim For, Eisley, and All Time Low. In 2007, their debut album, King vs. Queen, was released on Carbon Copy Media, without the band's full knowledge.


Although the band has been playing together for nine years, they only formed a band in 2004. In high school, Brighten went by the name Sincerely Me, though after high school, due to minor conflict, they changed their name to Brighten.

They independently released their debut EP, Ready When You Are, on November 9, 2005. The EP was extremely well received by critics,[1] and has since sold out.

In 2006, Victory Records sued Carbon Copy Media, and in the resulting turn of events Brighten's debut album, King vs. Queen, could not be released. After selling a 9-track version independently at their concerts, Brighten discovered in March 2007 that the album had in fact been released.

In June 2007, Brighten began a tour with Hawthorne Heights.

Brighten has shared the stage with: The Maine, From First to Last, Taking Back Sunday, Number One Gun, The Junior Varsity, Lydia, Waking Ashland, Eisley, This Holiday Life, and more.

Brighten is represented by Tim Kirch and Tanner Radcliffe at Eighty One Twenty Three Management.

In 2008 Jimmy Richards raised enough money to travel to Africa and minister African children. He has said that he will return to the band and play drums when he gets back to America. For a short time Richards was replaced by ex-Parade the Day drummer Ben Spear, and also briefly by Loren Brinton, who also drummed in Lydia and A Rocket to the Moon. Richards has since returned and participated in the band's most recent recording effort.

Justin Richards became a full-time touring member of A Rocket to the Moon which has put Brighten on a temporary hiatus. However, Brighten announced via their Myspace in May 2009 that the next month they would go into the studio in with producer Jeff Schneeweis with hopes of recording new material.

The band has finished recording their next EP, called "Be Human", which was released March 23, 2010. Currently, they say that touring is a possibility. Justin has been quoted saying "A Rocket to the Moon is, it feels right, y’know. It’s really cool kinda doing both and it’s really not hard to juggle since Brighten may not be touring... a whole lot."

On July 25, 2011, drummer Jimmy Richards posted on his Twitter saying that Brighten will be digitally releasing a new record, titled "I'll Always Be Around", on August 9, 2011.[2]

In February 2013 Brighten released their second full-length album, Peace & Quiet.

Justin Richards is currently a full-time touring guitarist for country act Dan + Shay.

On November 30, 2015, Justin and Jimmy each posted new promo pictures of the band to their Instagram accounts with the caption "Brighten 2016" signaling some sort of activity coming in the following year. Alex followed suit by posting another new promo photo to his account a few days later.

On February 22, 2017, Brighten released their song "You Love Him" and announced their new self-titled album will be released on March 3, 2017.[3]


  • Justin Richards - Guitar, vocals
  • Alex Draper - Bass, vocals
  • Jimmy Richards - Drums, vocals


Studio albums[edit]

Extended Plays[edit]

  • Ready When You Are (2005)
  • Early Love (2008)
  • Be Human (2010)
  • I’ll Always Be Around (2011)
  • Justin Richards Sessions (2011)
  • Acoustic (2018)


  1. ^ "Brighten - Ready When You Are EP -". AbsolutePunk [dot] net. Retrieved January 10, 2006.
  2. ^ Jimmy Richards [@jimmybrighten] (25 July 2011). "brighten's record - I'll Always Be Around - available digitally 8/9/2011" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ "Brighten – "You Love Him"". Retrieved February 22, 2017.

External links[edit]