Bright Light Bright Light
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Bright Light Bright Light

London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Pop EDM

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"The Week's Top Downloads - The Times"

Bright Light Bright Light, Cry at Films

The Scissor Sisters’ guitarist, Del Marquis, features on the B-side to the Welsh singer Rod Thomas’s debut single, Love Part II. Free at tiny.cc/j5owf - The Times


"Bright Light Bright Light at The Lexington - The Times 4 star live review"

Last year the Welshman Rod Thomas had an electro-pop epiphany. Formerly a folk singer, he ditched his guitar, started writing songs on synths, adopted a meaningless moniker and joined the huge queue of twentysomethings stealing sounds from the decade in which they were born.

Now a blog phenomenon, Bright Light Bright Light is shaping up to be one of the top tips for next year. The band’s debut single, Love Part II, released today, is Kylie-class euphoric pop. Ellie Goulding has chosen Thomas to support her on tour from next month and Scissor Sisters have declared themselves to be fans.

Slipping on stage through clouds of dry ice, in a smart black suit with his hair cropped short, Thomas looked more like an accountant than a clubber. Not so his entourage. As well as a drummer and a guest keyboard player, James Yuill, the line-up included a pair of female backing singers — dressed in silver, sequinned dresses and matching fascinators — and two male dancers sporting vests, baseball caps and dollops of glitter glued to their arms. The dancers, presumably on purpose, were so disastrously bad — think drunken lads at a Dagenham disco — that Thomas got away with standing still and at times beating drum pads.

That Bright Light Bright Light’s sleekly-produced pop is a cut above the competition may be because of Thomas’s former life. His structured songs have soulful, soaring, catchy choruses that wouldn’t frighten a Coldplay crowd. His beats recall early Depeche Mode and can tread into 1990s techno, but they never trample over his tunes. Good Times even managed to borrow from George Benson and still sound cool.

Predictably, Love Part II was the highlight. The crowd clapped along and joined in the skyscraping chorus, then giggled as the dancers tried out terrible, Michael Jackson-inspired moves. When Bright Light Bright Light’s debut album arrives next year, Thomas could slip in to La Roux’s shoes, topping the charts with electro-pop that crosses from clubs to coffee tables. - The Times


"Bright Light Bright Light - Pop/Rinse/Repeat album review"

I think this album is deceptively simple. What starts out as a very easy going, carefree pop album quickly turns into on of the most astounding records I've listened to in a while. From melancholy lyrics to soaring 90s-inspired freestyle house anthems, this album is actually pretty brilliant. You can easily sit down and listen  to it and let it take you where you need to go because it is just that easy. There are amazing messages of hope and positive growth on this album. Rod Thomas seems to be able to take so much emotion and roll it up into amazing art. This is also where his magic comes in, the songs will have you bobbin your head and tapping your feet from the outset but then when you stop for a minute and actually listen to the lyrics, you're just swept up in this tidal wave of emotion that he so eloquently controls and has no problems moving you through.

Songs like "Cry at Films", "Grace", "Love Part II" and practically all the other tracks will just hit you in the what ever emotional center you need them too. "Disco Moment" is this brilliant song about the end of a relationship and the lyrics are heart wrenching but it's paired against this driving, pulsating beat and the juxtaposition of the two just wears you out in the best possible way. I just really don't have any other words to say than....wow. There just comes a point when you listen to this album that you just have to stop everything you're doing and just give it all over to him. I mean, hell, he's got you wrapped around his finger anyway, might as well just go all in.

This is easily going to be one of my top five albums of 2012 and there are 6 months left in the year.  I will be a huge advocate for him because this album from start to finish is nothing but sheer genius. The album is going to be available for purchase in the States soon so please buy it when it comes out. I want him to have some following in the United States because he has shown that he clearly deserves it. I want to give him all my money. - Pop Rinse Repeat


"Bright Light Bright Light - Entertainment Focus 5 star album review"

Bright Light Bright Light aka Rod Thomas has been crafting his debut album for quite a while. In 2010 he released debut single Love Part II through Popjustice’s Hifi label and since then he’s been working with Scissor Sisters’ Del Marquis, Andy Chatterley, Boom Bip and The Invisible Men. The end result is debut album Make Me Believe In Hope which draws inspiration from the 80s and 90s mixing electro-pop with personal lyrics for a rather special album.

Make Me Believe In Hope is the kind of debut album that every artist hopes to make but few ever manage. Love Part II hinted at what was to come from Bright Light Bright Light but it didn’t quite prepare us for how magnificent Make Me Believe In Hope was going to be. Waiting For The Feeling, one of the standouts on the record, is perhaps Thomas at his best. Channelling early 90s dance and complementing it with a hint of Pet Shop Boys, the track is a euphoric dancefloor filler.

Elsewhere on the album current single A New Word To Say shimmers along like a lost New Order gem, Debris strips the electro-beats away for a short but emotive near two minutes and album closer Grace pays homage to Bjork’s early work rounding the album off in a perfect fashion. Scissor Sisters member Del Marquis features on the 80s electro-pop winner Cry At Films providing another standout moment on the record.

Picking a highlight on Make Me Believe In Hope is pretty near impossible. Every track deserves their place on the album and there’s absolutely no filler here. The plinky-plonky tingles of opening track Immature get things off to a great start but we love the 90s beats of Feel It. Sounding like a lost classic from the era it makes us want to get out our denim and dig out those funky dancemoves that were part and parcel of that time in music.

Electro-pop doesn’t come finer than Make Me Believe In Hope. Thomas has crafted an album that is perfect in every way with shimmering melodies creating an epic soundscape that will certainly be played to death at EF HQ. If this is Thomas’ starting point then we can’t wait to see what else he’s got up his sleeve. Until then we’ll be listening to Make Me Believe In Hope on repeat and it’s likely a contender for our favourite pop album of 2012. - Entertainment Focus


"Bright Light Bright Light - The Sunday Times album review"

His first single was released on Popjustice’s record label, which came as no surprise. Bright Light Bright Light, aka Rod Thomas, was a natural for the website, which is a tireless evangelist for electro-pop that maxes not just on killer choruses and dancefloor propulsion, but on the heartache that often underlies and defines the genre’s greatest songs. This debut album confirms his promise: yes, he uses the textural architecture of electronica, but what tracks such as Immature, Moves and Disco Moment show above all is that he is a songwriter of extraordinary dexterity, making music whose key achievement is to nail an emotion — be it euphoria or desolation — and convince us of its truth. - The Sunday Times


Discography

single - "A New Word To Say" - download only self release, April 2010, airplay BBC Radio 1

single - "Love Part II" - Popjustice HiFi, Sept 2010, sold-out 500 limited edition gatefold CD, airplay BBC Radio 1

single - "Disco Moment" - The Blue Team, August 2011, airplay BBC Radio 1, Sirius XM

album - "Make Me Believe In Hope" - The Blue Team / Aztec Records, June 2012, CD, download, limited edition vinyl, extensive national press, airplay, and selling amazingly both UK and USA

Photos

Bio

Rod Thomas, aka Bright Light Bright Light, can do something unusual for a man who makes dance music. He can talk about his songs. Not about how many bpm they boast, or on what equipment they were recorded (although he’ll give you that info if you insist). Rather, Rod can say what inspired every track on his remarkable, debut album, Make Me Believe In Hope. He can reveal the real-life tales behind the lyrics and describe the exact emotion he sums up with each song.

Take Disco Moment, BLBL’s recent, Radio 1-played single. On the surface, it’s infectious, euphoric electro-pop that throbs and twinkles at the same time. Listen closer and the lyrics will punch you in the stomach while your arms are aloft.  

“A disco moment is when you’re lost in having the time of your life,” explains Rod. “Like when you’re in a club with your best friends and your favourite song comes on. Musically, I wanted to capture the empowering feeling of a dance scene in a John Hughes film. But the lyrics are about watching someone else – someone you really care about – have that joyous disco moment in front of you. You’re not included, and they haven’t even noticed.”

Here’s Rod on the dreamy, sun-soaked Love Part II, co-written with Grammy-nominated producer Andy Chatterley (Kylie, Kanye, Underworld).

“I was having a confidence crisis when I went to work with Andy,” says Rod. “But he loved my music and was so enthusiastic that we finished this song in a few hours. It’s about how someone can change your life by just believing in you, which is what happened to me that day. The lyrics I made about someone convincing you to love again – because no one wants to hear a song about studio optimism.”

Broody ballad Grace is a break-up song with a twist – it is written from the point of view of the person doing the dumping. “Sad songs are never about the dumper, only the dumpee,” says Rod. “But it’s not a pleasant position to be in.”

Cry At Films was written after Rod and Scissor Sisters’ Del Marquis saw a Depeche Mode gig together in New York. Del guests on guitar and vocals on a song that imagines life as a film – when it starts to go wrong, you can rewrite the scene. Feel It, about giving in to dark desires, boasts tribal techno beats and a guest gospel vocal and was inspired by Twin Peaks – Rod is an obsessive fan of the series, as is the song’s co-writer Jon Shave, who has penned hits for everyone from Jessie J and Girls Aloud to Pixie Lott and Olly Murs. The pair’s shared love of David Lynch and ‘90s dance music resulted in two other album tracks – piano house-influenced new single Waiting For The Feeling and the shimmering, midtempo Moves.

Rod’s route to the release of Make Me Believe In Hope takes in London, L.A. and the annual industry shindig that is South By South West. But it’s not as straightforward as it sounds. The story starts not in urban clubs or hip bars, but by a coal mine between two villages in south Wales. There, Rod grew up on his parents’ folk, show tunes and Abba albums. In his early teens, he discovered dance music listening to Atlantic 252 in his bedroom at night. He persuaded his parents to stop sending him to piano lessons and got out of playing flute at school. Not coincidentally, he had been given his first guitar.

Rod’s first songs were sort of folky. “I began within my means,” he explains. “The music was acoustic guitar-led, with a few beats around it. I didn’t know how to programme and I had very little equipment. I began experimenting with a loop pedal and samples and gradually got to a prototype of the music I wanted to make – melodic pop for dance floors.”

There was a spell studying English literature and creative writing at Warwick University, which Rod hated. Then he moved to London and loved it. He got geeky – setting up a studio at home to perfect his production skills. He busked the rush hour slots at Liverpool St, Tottenham Court Rd and Oxford Circus tube stations. He spent his nights at clubs. In 2009, he went to L.A. to record with producer Boom Bip.

“I’m a huge fan, so my management company sent him some of my demos,” recalls Rod. “He loved them, invited me over and we spent two weeks working on tracks. One was A New Word To Say. I’d written it as a bluesy acoustic song and Boom Bip helped me turn it in to a big, shiny electronic production. That’s when I knew I had found my sound.”

In 2010, Popjustice Hi-Fi released Love Part II as BLBL’s first official single, after Peter Robinson declared himself Rod’s biggest fan. He remixed Ellie Goulding’s Under The Sheets. Ellie loved it and invited Rod to support her on every date of her UK tour. He remixed Acapella for Kelis, then shared a stage with the singer at Gay Pride in Bristol.

BLBL took last year’s SXSW by storm. Rod’s set was declared the highlight of the opening party at the British Embassy and his BMI show got rave reviews. Between finishing the final tracks for his album, Rod remixed Gotye’s worldwide smash, Som