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Review: Bright Light Bright Light's I Wish We Were Leaving

We give the electro-pop wonder-kid's latest EP a spin...


We've always been a huge fan of Bright Light Bright Light here at GT towers – the artist also known as Rod Thomas, he's a handsome chap who knows his way around a decent pop hook, to boot. His single I Wish We Were Leaving, featuring none other than the icon Sir Elton John no less, has pretty much been on repeat since we first heard it. It's why we couldn't wait to sink our teeth in to his new EP, of the same name.

Bright Light Bright Light began touring with Ellie Goulding back in 2010, and went on to release his debut album Make Me Believe in Hope in 2012, as well as supporting the Scissor Sisters on tour. Infusing a nu-disco, synth-pop and house vibe – yes, all three – into his music, it wasn’t long until the Scottish, openly gay artist caught our attention.

The EP opens with the title track. Subtle elements of synth-pop linger, hanging on to Thomas’ vocals before a house beat comes in and lifts the spirits. It’s nothing explosive, but it’s enjoyable.

There’s an added excitement of having Sir Elton on the track. It provides the song with more depth, a whole flood of emotions that can only come from Elton John’s vocal folds. The chorus has a catchy hook, but doesn’t leave you hanging on for too long. The melodic vibe is what really pulls you in.

Up next is Matters, the second track on the EP. More upbeat than the previous, everything starts to come alive. We can’t help but feel we’re still listening to the first track though, the chorus has a very similar hook – however, it isn’t enough to dishearten us, as it’s a perky attempt by Thomas to show he doesn't necessarily need the help of a megastar like Elton to write a stand-out pop tune.

She Carves Her Desire saves it, which we’re going to put down to clever production. Thomas delivers laidback, ballad-worthy vocals that create the perfect retro-pop song. It feels as though this one should have made it onto Hurts’ latest album. It’s moody, compelling and something you’d want to hear more of.

The next two tracks are remixes of I Wish We Were Leaving, and this is where the disco really comes in full force. With a slow and relaxed beginning, a promising middle, and an upbeat ending, it ends up being decent enough to devote 25 minutes out of your day to it.

It isn’t going to blow your ears off. But BLBL represents himself as a genuine artist, truth and emotion hibernates within his lyrics, and it’s actually a fun listen.

I Wish We Were Leaving EP is out now. Check out the video below for the eponymous single feature Elton John.



Words: Darrell Larkin, More from GT Music