The Jericho Tavern, Oxford
27th October 2012
Every so often a musical act comes along with all the right characteristics for it to become your new favourite but fails in some way, be it execution, tone or sheer lack of tunes. For me, Bright Light Bright Light is not one of those musical acts. In fact, he – singer/drummer/sample triggerer Rod Thomas – takes those characteristics and conjures them into something glorious.
A love of both the sweeping synths and soundscapes of the Pet Shop Boys and 90s piano house is evident; in places, I even get a whiff of Sybil (of Stock/Waterman fame). Moves veers into the dreamy territory of the wonderful Swedish synthpop duo The Sound of Arrows, and latest single Feel It even has an amazing Carol Kenyon/Loleatta Holloway bit.
New song In Your Care is probably most representative of the songwriting craft on display; atmospheric but with a pounding bass, it sounds like a dance remix of a much more delicate and mellow song. The drops and peaks are carefully paced, enveloping and carrying you on the song’s journey.
Rod sings (beautifully) like he’s saying what he wants to say the way he wants to say it, not worrying about cynicism or conforming to any sort of expectation of what people want to hear. And it’s heartfelt and poignant. Disco Moment brilliantly captures a moment it’s hard to describe and one you might not even admit acknowledging to yourself; Cry at Films laments the difference between the perfection of celluloid relationships and reality; and the anthemic refrain of Love Part II – “I’m in love again” – seems simultaneously euphoric and vulnerable.
Sometimes all the analysis you can muster can’t describe the emotion something in provokes in you. “I’m in love again”: quite. Bright Light Bright Light is utter pop magnificence and the world needs to know.