The Utter Genius of Brighter

Unless you are a big Sarah Records fan, its unlikely that you will have ever heard of Brighter. Their music was a kind of fuzzy, acoustic brand of indie-pop with lyrics that often spoke about being young and confused. They made quite a few releases on the now cult classic label, Sarah Records and these releases have really shaped the way that I write songs and my outlook on music.

The Brighter 7″ Around The World In Eighty Days would probably have to be my favorite 7″ of all time. When I am sad I like to put on Tinsel Heart which features the lyrics ” Don’t you ever let them touch you, don’t you ever let them in ” – it’s my power song against the world but twee style. The entire release feature no drums, which is a common theme with Brighter, but they are not really missed and (when they do make an appearance on other releases they add that little bit more because they are a rarity). One of my favorite parts of Brighter songs of the piano riffs that you don’t necessarily notice at first, they are subtle yet add a certain kind of richness to the songs which you wouldn’t get from only using guitars.

For me, Brighter songs are somehow both the song that you would listen to on a sunny day down the park and the song the that you would cry in your bedroom to. This is perhaps why I like them so much as I am able to take them songs and make them fit my narrative for that day. Despite the people in Brighter now being my Dad’s age, I do feel like these songs understood the part of adolescence that is forever confused and doesn’t quite know where it’s place is.

I am really pleased that one day I decided to pick up a Brighter record from my Dad’s collection because now I know that indie-pop doesn’t need drums and that it’s okay to write sad songs about your life (sometimes). I will now leave you with a YouTube mix of Brighter’s singles – enjoy!

Frankie Cosmos – Sinister

Basically, Frankie Cosmos reminds us that it’s ok to feel down sometimes via a cute pop song with a recorder.

A few months ago, Frankie Cosmos released a single from her upcoming album, Next Thing (Bayonet Records) which is released next Friday. The song continues with the full band that she worked with on her previous album, Zentropy, which fills out the song nicely while maintaining much of her DIY lo-fi feel. The song begins as a very simple pop song with a sparse band and just Greta’s vocals but soon builds with the addition of some swirling organ and harmonies in the chorus and then a recorder interlude. The lyrics in the chorus make reference to an Arthur who is apparently a New York anti-Folk artist from years back. It’s these little references that remind me how these songs are written about things I feel and understand too and that’s probably why I love Frankie Cosmos so much.

Next Thing is released on the 1st Of April and you can also see Frankie Cosmos live in the UK in May.

 

Our Trip Out

Recently Mum and I were true urban explorers and, with only backpacks and dubious signal, we took on Bristol (and got some photos along the way). The photos I took are in time order and you have to hover over them for captions I think.

Gig Review: Hinds at Bristol Fleece (24/02/16)

Over a week ago now, I made a trip up to Bristol to see Hinds at the Bristol Fleece, which might just be my favourite gig venue; its small, has a great atmosphere, a wide selection of artists and friendly security.

Supporting Hinds were New York band, Public Access T.V. who mix new wave with the boy band appeal of the Strokes to produce some catchy songs. Although they weren’t really my kind of thing, they worked with the crowd and the occasion.

Hinds took to the stage just after nice o’clock and instantly brought the energy up. They played a brilliant set which included pretty much all of their debut album, Leave Me Alone, but also included a cover of a ballad in the middle which bought a change to the slightly rowdy atmosphere. Throughout their set, Carlotta and Ana chatted to the crows about Spanish gig traditions (English people – please don’t try to copy) and their appearance at the 6 Music Festival which didn’t go as well as it seemed. After possibly the shortest gap between leaving the stage and encore ever, Hinds graced the stage again once more where they played a cover of Thee Headcoats Davey Crockett. This turned into a massive sing-along for all and was probably the highlight of my night.

Music From This Week (7/2/16)

This week I have spent too much time trying to learn how to play the recorder part in Belle and Sebastian’s Boy With The Arab Strap. At some point this may well find it’s way on to the internet.

When I wasn’t playing recorder or otherwise distracted, I discovered this brilliant compilation. The Rough Trade Indiepop ’09 compilation is packed full of more recent indie-pop gems. 2009 was clearly a good year for the genre with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and Veronica Falls making their debut amongst others. Acts also to feature include the I-see-what-you-did-there-with-your-name act named Moscow Olympics with a nice number complete with strings and cool people who hang out in Glasgow, AKA Los Campesinos!

Also, you should totally check out Bruising (who I discovered on account of a Waxahatchee t-shirt being worn by a member of the band) because they are cool and have great taste in band tees.

About A Place – Bristol

I have grown up less than 100 miles from Bristol, 91 miles to be precise. It’s always been a part of my life, like a distant relative you just know you have but only because they send you cards for Christmas. As a child, I remember visits to Bristol in the evening for gigs. I was mesmerised by the how big and how bright everything was. Because we always visited in the dark, buildings seemed to rise up only in blocks of lights and the city sprawled on forever. For me, a highlight of every trip to Bristol was the Bear Pit roundabout, with the intriguing bear sculpture in the middle and high-rise buildings towering above.

As I grew older, my visits to Bristol grew more frequent and as we would drive through I would imagine myself as one of these people, someone who lived in Bristol. This would quickly descend into “if I lived in Bristol, I would…”. I began to see Bristol as a more than an exciting place where I got to go to see bands play, it became a symbol for an aspiration that I couldn’t put into words. Bristol became the object of my desire to be in a place where things were happening.

Now Bristol is my gateway to music; I fall in love with new bands there, my obsession with Bristol label, Sarah Records, has led me to things I didn’t know were possible, Bristol influences songs that I write. Bristol has become a part of the person I am as much as the music that it has introduced me to.

On September the second of last year, I spent a day in Bristol which had as bigger impact on my life as all of my other visits put together. I spent the day chasing signs with names of Sarah compilations on, buying vinyl and experiencing a life beyond my small Plymouth bubble. I always knew that other places had more vibrant culture than my hometown but the sheer amount surprised me; record stores had poster of bands I loved, there were multiple shows on any given day, there were student ran publications that discussed music and film that i loved too.

Still, the highlight of my day was seeing Alvvays live in the evening at The Fleece. I could ramble on for ages about how amazing they were and how long I had waited to see them but this post isn’t really the place for that. What I really took away from the evening, and that day to be honest, was that I, an ordinary person, could have an interesting life. These people I saw were just like me. This made me think that maybe I could be in a band, run a paper or curate a small gallery. As we drove home that night, my mind was brimming with possibilities of what I could do with my life. It’s funny how just being a small girl in a big city for one day can inspire you so much but I’m glad that I am a small girl in bigger cities.

 

 

Music from January

I have been gone for a little while because of exams but I am back now. Normal service should resume.

First of all, this year has already got off to a good start with Hinds brilliant debut album Leave Me Alone and looking ahead, this year should be pretty interesting in terms of music. I, in particular am waiting very patiently for some new material from Alvvays and have already started saving for Frankie Cosmos’s full length which will be released on Bayonet later this year.

Also have you seen these, I think they’re pretty cool.

The music this week is courtesy of a bit of a regular on here, Keel Her. You can buy her music on Bandcamp if you are interested. I think this song has a slightly Hinds feel which is definitely a good thing – especially since Stephen Pastel is a fan.