INTERVIEW: THE BRIGHT LIGHT SOCIAL HOUR
The Bright Light Social Hour create cosmic waves of psychedelic soul that is simply good for any persons musical mind. As they embark on another summer full of touring and bringing those one of a kind vibes that this quintet so eloquently posses, they are set to release a new album too, with new single 'Most High' further sonically instilling their further expanded sound.
Driving a rhythmic and vibrant beat at the introduction, TBLSH possess a unique ability to soak you in their dreamy atmosphere, and 'Most High' is no different. We sat down with singer/bassist Jackie O'Brien to learn more about the record, their upcoming plans and more, exclusively for FLEX. Check it out below!
Hey guys! How are we doing? Sum up your music for us in three words please.
Juicy, cosmic, booty
Who are your biggest influences as a group?
Oh man, so many! Mainly “Miss You” by The Rolling Stones, that song’s always been our North Star.
How was The Bright Light Social Hour formed?
Curtis and I met at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. He sent out an email looking to start a music collective and listed some wild, diverse influences from Sigur Ros to Dillinger Escape Plan and I jumped on it. Early on it was all odd-time, skronky, experimental screamo, really different from where we eventually ended up.
Tell us about your new single ‘Most High’?
It’s the chillest ripper, cosmic soul, psychedelic baby-funk.
Stream 'Most High' in full here:
Your sound is so rich and crisp, yet still holds an element of nostalgia around it. Was this the intention?
For sure. Curt loves it hi-fi, I love it gritty, we all love the vibe of 70s recordings of all types but hate to feel limited by a traditional retro approach. So we recorded it as pristine and modern as possible then ran everything through all kinds of hardware distortion (mainly a Moogerfooger analog delay pedal with the drive up) to find the sweet spot of heat, power and depth.
What is ‘Most High’ about?
My brother (and the band's longtime manager) passed away in my arms on the shore of Lake Travis after an intense struggle with bipolar. As crazy as it sounds, it was an uncannily beautiful moment. I witnessed the sky opening by way of some monolithic, benevolent, divine force. I was filled with sublime peace and ecstatic joy. Total life affirmed in death.
For me, the song is just trying to describe that feeling, humbled and ecstatic in the face of staggering love, somewhere between a supernatural sojourn and a religious service. Breezy, communal, joyous in the face of loss. A reminder that all endings are new beginnings and the possibilities are truly limitless.
Who did you record this record with?
Ourselves! Curtis took the lead on engineering and mixed and mastered it, and we all had a hand in producing it at our Austin studio, Escondido Sound.
Any touring plans for 2023?
Fuck yeah! Full US, Canada, Mexico tour this fall and we’re so stoked.
And any new releases or maybe a new TBLSH album on the horizon? We won’t tell anyone!
Yes, and please tell everyone! Our 5th album Emergency Leisure is out August 2 via Escondido Sound. Most High is the third single, and we might mess around and drop another before the album’s out…
uly 29 - Carbondale, CO - Mountain Fair
August 4 - Ninilchik, AK - Salmonfest Alaska
August 30 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
August 31 - Nashville, TN - The Basement
September 1 - Asheville, NC - The Grey Eagle
September 2 - Raleigh NC - The Pour House
September 3 - Richmond, VA - Richmond Music Hall
September 4 - Washington, DC - Songbyrd
September 7 - Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live
September 8 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
September 10 - Boston, MA - Sonia
September 12 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz
September 13 - Ottawa, ON - Mavericks
September 14 - Toronto, ON - Adelaide Hall
September 15 - Kalamazoo, MI - Bell's
September 16 - Chicago, IL - Schubas
September 17 - Kansas City, MO - Encore at Uptown Theater
September 29 - Arlington, TX - Levitt Pavilion
September 30 - Austin, TX - Mohawk
October 7 - Mexico City, MX - Bajo Circuito
October 19 - Santa Fe, NM - Meow Wolf
October 20 - Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar
October 21 - Joshua Tree, CA - Pappy + Harriet's
October 24 - San Diego, CA - Voodoo Room @ House of Blues
October 25 - Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room
October 26 - Los Angeles, CA - Gold Diggers
October 27 - Morro Bay, CA - The Siren
October 28 - San Francisco, CA - Cafe Du Nord
October 29 - Sacramento, CA - The Starlet Room at Harlow's
October 31 - Bend, OR - Volcanic Theatre Pub
November 2 - Portland, OR - Holocene
November 3 - Seattle, WA - TBA [very dope festival]
November 4 - Victoria, BC - Victoria Event Center
November 5 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret
November 9 - Boise, ID - Neurolux
November 10 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
November 11 - Denver, CO - Globe Hall