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Joseph Brailsford merges playful whimsy with seriously good music

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The Prettiest album artwork, by T.G. Miller.

Joseph Brailsford is taking shots at himself. “‘I Like to Spell’ is basically making fun of cover bands,” he laughs, referring to a song on his new album. “Which is making fun of me, because I play in a cover band.”

Most of Brailsford’s jabs focus on his position for nearly 15 years as the accordion player for that beloved Vegas cover band, Darby O’Gill and the Little People. But for his latest project, The Prettiest, he’s stepping away from his longtime Darby character, Ringo Malarkey, and embracing his inner singer-songwriter.

His new outfit The Prettiest, which just released a new, 18-track, self-titled album (available at theprettiestband.bandcamp.com), partners Brailsford with English instrumentalist Paul Sinnott, who also played in Darby at one time. From the twee “I Like to Spell” to country-tinged ballad “Make It Go Away,” featuring former Darby fiddle player Tristan Moyer, the LP is layered with folk, indie, ’90s alt-rock, power-pop and electronic textures.

It’s also hilarious—Brailsford waxes poetic about “pee pee” and giving grandmas heart attacks. On “Angelina Jolie,” he pines over the Tomb Raider actress, singing: “I bought a membership to Cox Cable/Should have been doing push-ups with Carrot Top/Not pushing pause to that scene where your top was off.”

Brailsford, who cut his teeth in the early aughts writing originals in local band Pilot to Orion, says he just wants to keep it light and fun. “If I get even the slightest hint of [a band] being total douchebags, I’ll just shrivel up right away. I definitely take myself seriously, but I wanted it to come off not-so-serious.”

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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