Thursday, June 6, 2013

Electronic heartstrings

Bright Light Bright Light and Rowsy Bosch. I've written about both artists before, but given that they've both just released outstanding new songs, I feel compelled to write about them again in the hopes that my little blog might help spread the word about artists who deserve greater exposure.

A year ago, I called the debut album from Bright Light Bright Light a contender for album of the year. I will amend that slightly to remove "a contender for" and just call it my favorite album of 2012. I can still listen to it from start to finish and hear new details, enjoy it fully as if it were my first listen, and be sad when it seems to be over too soon. (Happily for me, Bright Light Bright Light are performing a few shows around the US, including a stop in San Francisco with Slow Knights later this month. I cannot wait!)

June 3 saw the release of the final single from Make Me Believe In Hope, the melancholic and melodic "Moves". The release includes a lovely video, along with a remix and two bonus tracks, "Blueprint" and "This Is Me Without You", the latter of which is the standout track.

With a tinkling piano to start, the song features a lovely build to cathartic rhythms with lyrics detailing with no small amount of sadness and acceptance the end of a relationship and the need to heal. "On your breath, even simple words / Felt much louder than the streets around me" goes one verse; "But I made my peace with what you couldn't say / Now I move on without you / And hope that you are doing the same" comes the refrain.

It is achingly beautiful, a fitting companion to the A-side, and the perfect conclusion to the Make Me Believe In Hope period. Buy the Moves EP on Amazon MP3.

Now let us turn our attention to the stellar track dropped this week from Rowsy Bosch featuring Jeb Havens. I wrote about their debut EP last October, and in the meantime they've been hard at work on new material.

"Turn Me On" is a suitable companion to "This Is Me Without You" in several ways: it's an uptempo electronic track, it features a male vocalist, and its lyrics are far more melancholy than the arrangement might lead you to expect. (This will come as no surprise to fans of Depeche Mode, Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, Robyn, ... ). Where "This Is Me Without You" seeks to move past a failed relationship, however, "Turn Me On" seeks to make peace with a world that cannot or will not give everyone the room they need to breathe and realize their full potential.

"There are days / I just get home and it's on to the next beat / I can't shake this autopilot seeping into my life"

"There are wars being waged on the airwaves / Who am I supposed to be?"

This song marks an evolution in the band's sound, upping the tempo but holding on to the elements that give a song its heart: melody and lyricism. I am very eager to see what comes next for them!

Buy "Turn Me On" on Amazon MP3, and catch Rowsy Bosch featuring Jeb Havens at San Francisco Pride.