Island Vibes and Inner Strength Flow from Michael Bruner’s “Don’t Mean Broken”

Michael Bruner’s “Don’t Mean Broken” has been in my heavy rotation for the last
few weeks. It has that white boy reggae flavor that I’ve had a thing for since I first got into Sublime in middle school when I first caught them as a B-side on a Wesley Willis 7” split. While I suspect many modern pop fans would equate Bruner’s sound on this track to folks like Jack Johnson, John Mayer, or Ed Sheeran, I immediately find myself reminded of 311’s chill side. In fact, even Bruner’s vocals even feel reminiscent of Nick Hexum’s, especially in the band’s early 2000s recordings. Comparisons aside, the song is catchy and has been stuck in my head for hours on end, day after day after day.


Lyrically, the song is one of strength. Bruner sings to a friend stuck in a bad
relationship, telling her that she can get out and make it through. “Alone don’t mean broken,” he sings, telling her that she’s too important and too awesome to be trapped by this relationship. She “has too much going” to belong to anyone beside herself. It’s a beautiful and powerful message. This song of strength pairs remarkably well with the upbeat reggae beat of the song.

As the Spring has sprung and Summer is just around the corner, this song’s island vibe will feel just right pumping from your car radio or from your home stereo speakers. The single is out now on Instru Dash Mental Records and the video is
below. Snatch the song up now on Bandcamp or check more Bruner out on


Written by Justin “thepaintedman” Harlan

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