Gig Seeker Pro


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | SELF

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | SELF
Band EDM Folk




"Sarah / Doubt 7" review"

Both ‘Sarah’ and ‘Doubt’ suggest that Brightly have pure skill and lets hope they have another release on the books real soon. - Buzz Magazine

"Sarah review"

Melbourne’s Brightly have written a warbling, melancholic single that seems to rise bubbling out of water. Because the song itself is naïve and earnest indie folk, the rippling electro effects dressing the vocals and guitars are unsettling and hypnotic. - Beat Magazine

"Brightly, if you don't know the name yet there's a big chance that you soon will."

This dynamic power pop duo, made up of childhood school mates Charlie Gleason and Nic Lam, is set to take the world by storm – one gig at a time.
We sat down and spoke to Charlie on a rainy Wednesday afternoon and quizzed him about the band, their new release double A-Side “We were in Tokyo & Then we woke up”, and what life is like for the band Brightly. Here’s what he had to say.

Thanks for chatting with us Charlie, first of all what’s the story behind Brightly?

Nic and I initially met in school and bonded over a shared love of Dawson’s Creek and shopping around record shops together. We formed a couple of really tragic punk bands that didn’t go anywhere but it wasn’t until I moved back home a couple of years ago, after living in the U.K that Brightly started to form.

And it’s always just been the two of you?

Yeah, we’re always been a party of two. Obviously we’ve had different collaborators and I suppose that’s one of the best parts of it just being the two of us. Depending on what we’re up to, whether we’re writing or recording or playing live, we can bring other people in to help out and have it not be something that is too taxing on their time, it gives a lot more flexibility.

How did you go from playing in a punk band to performing pop music?

When I first started I only knew three chords, so that made it really hard to not write punk or at least punk inspired music.I guess it was just natural evolution though, Nic and I have always played together so as a result our sound has evolved too.I went and studied computer science and Nic studied jazz so I guess those influences and maybe listening to a broader range of music than we listened to when we were fourteen has given us more room to move creatively and try new sounds.

Brightly only essentially formed mid to late last year when we started working with our producer Andrei Eremin. He has also been a huge influence on us not only sonically but also in terms of our writing and recording process.

What was the influence behind your first single “Tokyo”?

When I first moved to the U.K I travelled via Tokyo and for a little bit of a hiatus. I guess this song focusses on the idea of trying to be a grown up. Before I moved to London I’d always lived at home ad I didn’t have much worldly experience. I spent a lot of time in Japan feeling very isolated and I would spend Friday nights there just going to the Supermarket. I guess that imagery really stayed with me and formed the basis of our lead single. I pretty much went overseas to escape from my life here in Australia and it ties into that as well, that idea of exile or self flagellation.

The film clip for the single is really interesting, it says on your website that it’s footage from a film called ‘Children of Japan’ made in 1941, how did you get the copyright for it?

The film is actually public domain and to be honest I’ve got a bit of an obsession with public domain footage, I love things that have just fallen out of copyright law. ‘Children of Japan’ is a fascinating film because it was taken pre World War Two so there’s almost an innocence to it. We’ll probably keep using found footage in our clips because I love that form of expression, being able to cut up old films and make new art out of them. - Makers of Melbourne

"The 59th Sound Interview"

The 59th Sound recently spoke with Melbourne two-piece Brightly, who are set to release a brand new 7” single at the Empress Hotel on May 26th.

Hi guys, thank you for talking to the 59th Sound!
Your single release We Were In Tokyo & Then We Woke Up has quite a unique sound, what kind of music influences your style?
Nic: Pop and folk, harmony and melody, seen through the eyes of a mainly electronic medium. Most of the acoustic guitar originals are extremely different.
Charlie: Yeah, I generally write stuff on an acoustic guitar or on the piano and then transpose it across. We should do some acoustic shows.

What was the recording process like? From the album credits it sounds like it was a bit hectic!
Nic: The songs take shape at Charlie's house and are made complete at Ony's, in a way only he knows how. He has a special touch.
Charlie: Ony, our producer, is the secret third member. And I tend to just carry my laptop and a pair of enormous headphones everywhere I go.

The single had an insert with pictures of paint, glitter and I don’t know what else exploding on you; how did that shoot happen? Whose idea was it? Does it reflect what you want people to take from the two songs?
Nic: I think the photo shoot looks how "Tokyo" sounds. It was all our good friend and photographer Sam Clifford's idea. I think she just wanted to throw paint and glitter at people. We seemed like an appropriate choice.

What can someone who is unfamiliar with your music expect at one your shows?
Charlie: Me dancing around like an idiot. Glitter. Streamers. Self deprecation. Sleep deprivation. Guaranteed joy? At the very least, a really rad time.

Has this music project been evolving over the years you’ve known each other or is it a more recent idea and project?
Nic: The project is recent, but Charlie and I have been making music since high school. We recorded our first album "wireframe" on the PC in the Lam family lounge room back in year 10. The music has changed a lot, but not too much since then.
Charlie: I think I still have that somewhere. It really captured the struggles of the white middle class teenage male. Moving stuff.

Can we expect any more music in the next couple of months?
Nic: Yes! The next single "Sarah" is out real soon, we're shooting the clip next week.
Charlie: We're doing a 7" vinyl / digital release to coincide with the launch at The Empress hotel alongside our friends Lift Off and Nearly Oratorio. It's on May 26th, and promises to be wild.

I know Nic is a part of The Vaudeville Smash, will you still be playing with them or are you focusing on Brightly?
Nic: One of those things that hasn't changed since Charlie and i played music together in high school is that I have always played in a lot of bands. I really enjoy playing lots of different styles with different people and always have time for the really special ones. Brightly and The Vaudeville Smash are definitely two of those.

And just a random one to let people get a little insight into you guys, what is your favourite city to play a show in and why?
Nic: I've never been there, but I reckon Portland, Oregon. Not just because I love the show, but because my sister (Eliza, Oh Mercy) is there recording an album at the moment and she says it's amazing. I'm very jealous! - The 59th Sound

"We Were In Tokyo & Then We Woke Up review"

We Were in Tokyo & Then We Woke Up is an eclectic fun double-A side from the band Brightly. The single Tokyo is bright, bubbly and the lyrics are incredibly odd and make you smile.

The song has a strong voice and beat that stays interesting to listen to for the full five minutes the track runs. Many established artists have trouble maintaining a good track for a full five minutes but Brightly have pulled it off.

The second track & Then We Woke Up is a progression of sounds that build up the song. It’s a very unique sound for a track and involves all kind of instruments, including kids laughing!

The band blend elements of folk, pop and electronica to create a sound that they own. The single is great to listen to and if you love fun, happy music you will love their songs. - The 59th Sound

"We Were In Tokyo & Then We Woke Up review"

"Full of shimmering indie electro-pop." - Drum Perth

"We Were In Tokyo & Then We Woke Up review"

I recently interviewed Charlie from Brightly, and since then I have been listening to the double-A side ‘We Were In Tokyo & Then We Woke Up’ so I thought I’d try and tell you a bit about it.

I can’t really call this an album review, it is a 2 track CD single really, but I can review the music and tell you that it’s available at Bandcamp, iTunes and the bands website – as well as their shows.

Brightly sums up the sound quite well actually. The electronica really brightens the sound and makes it fun, I don’t know if you could have a track that wasn’t. It’s a sound that doesn’t seem to take itself seriously, regardless of the lyrics.

This quote from the Brightly website is the way they have described this recording: “We Were In Tokyo & Then We Woke Up” is a late night fist fight, eager to please and desperate to find meaning.

It is enthusiastic, energetic and samples screaming children from a domestic Australian flight. But I have listened and listened and I can’t hear the screaming children – I can hear children but it sounds to me like they’re laughing but that could have more to do with my children than the recording!

Definitely an interesting taste of the Brightly boys that has left me eagerly anticipating a more substantial release. - Beauty & Lace

"Sarah review"

A beautifully crafted smooth song that is extremely alluring to the ears. 8 / 10. - Tunespear

"Sarah / Doubt 7" review"

Some really intricate sounds coming out of Melboune electronica/folk duo Brightly. You may be familiar with their track ‘Tokyo‘ which was accompanied by a great clip made out of old footage from war times. Brightly, which is made up of Charlie Gleason and Nic Lam, have just released two new tracks, ‘Sarah’ and ‘Doubt’. Both starkly different, ‘Sarah’ displays the more pop side of brightly whilst ‘Doubt’ shows off the more ambient soundscape that Brightly bring to the fore so to speak, including some killer sax work. - All I Do Is Listen

"Sarah review"

An indie electronic outfit based in Melbourne Australia called Brightly have created a track titled ‘Sarah’ that can be best be described as
- sharing similarity in sounds to The Preset’s vocals,
- dobbed with a James Blake dub wobble
- and an overall Bon Iver calm uplifting feel in tone of composition
This track showcases a unique blend of sounds to create a soothingly original master piece with heart felt emotion.

We would like to thank them for spending the time to send us a very special clear vinyl to commemorate their well deserved EP launch! - Stoney Roads

"Tokyo review"

Tokyo makes you want to call up that girl from your childhood that you’ve always been secretly in love with and run away across the country side with her. - Beat Magazine

"Brightly self released single "Sarah""

Autotune is one of those tools that, along with the cheap electronic glitchy drum machines is best used by embracing it's cheesy quality completely. If you're trying to hide a bad performance, you aren't getting the point of this insane way to manipulate a vocal.

A-Side's "Sarah" from the Melbourne based band, Brightly, wastes no time in getting right to the electronic vocal, and it has absolutely nothing to do with Charlie's ability, who is clearly gifted with a soulful emotive delivery on this one. It seems to be working in the way that Tunng is combining those abrasive electronic elements into an otherwise plaintive folk track. It's almost minimal in it's composition, a clear, timid acoustic and piano work up to the main beat, subtle electronic sweeps rise and fade just under the surface, while this impossibly fluttering vocal works against the heartbreaking place "Sarah" is going. As if this mournful ballad might be too much to take otherwise, they're after taking classic songwriting elements and turning the whole thing on it's head with the kitchy effect. It leaves you questioning the place this character is coming from, his motives behind this lovesong. To blatantly draw attention to this jarring manipulation definitely says something about the authenticity of the sentiment, beyond just being a clever statement about pop music in general.

B-Side's "Doubt" starts out with high pitch droning tones that end up with a heavy saxophone solo blasting in, underneath a slow glitchy rhythm. The sax is quickly broken down into a one note looped sample as bridge for verses between Charlie's polished delivery. The glitch rhythm turns into mic'd handclaps, and Brightly keeps blurring that line between what is being performed and what has been emulated. Effortlessly switching between the 'real' elements and clearly digitally created, if you aren't listening closely, you might miss it and that feels like the point here. It's all on an equal playing ground, and Brightly is doing a hell of a job elevating those unworthy sounds to something greater than it's parts.

Import only on super thick (lathe cut?) clear vinyl, with hand painted sleeves and download card direct from the band. - 7 Inches


Beginnings & Endings, 2013

We Were In Tokyo & Then We Woke Up, 2012

Sarah 7", 2012

Tokyo, 2012
Sarah, 2012

River Gibbs Radio



Formed late 2011, Brightly initially began as a side project to frontman Charlie Gleason's folk leanings. Armed with a laptop and a midi controller, he began to explore electronica, inspired by artists like Patrick Wolf, Sufjan Stevens and The Postal Service.

From those formative beginnings the song Tokyo was written. Originally imagined as a plaintive ode to the terrors of domesticity, it grew into a driven and chaotic celebration of learning how to grow up a million miles from home.

After years of sharing records, Charlie's schoolmate Nicholas Lam joined and they began collaborating, writing, and recording a collection of tracks. Finally drummer Joshua Barber completed the trio, having studied music at university with Nicholas. Nic and Josh are also currently members of Australian bands Vaudeville Smash and Gotye and have performed with other notable bands such as Hiatus Kaiyote and Archie Roach in their home town of Melbourne.

Brightly have been played on radio stations in worldwide, as well as being covered in a host of blogs and magazines. Their relentless gigging throughout 2012, often involving bright lights, bad dancing, excessive glitter and kabuki streamers, lead them to being invited to play Moomba Festival in Melbourne, and the Backbone 2high festival in Brisbane.

Brightly have worked consistently with producer Andrei Eremin (Chet Faker, I'lls) who has shaped the complex, lush and ambient production that is a hallmark of their sound. With their debut record to be released early 2013, Brightly are poised to bring their unique blend of folk and electronica to the rest of the universe.

Their music is available via Bandcamp ( or iTunes.