Agony Shorthand

Friday, July 28, 2006

Not at all what I expected after reading a pre-release cover story in the SF Weekly on this duo, who came across as the most organic & earthen hippies imaginable, and who I expected would have a pretty predictable whisper-folk sound, a la ESPERS, DEVENDRA BANHART etc. No, instead BRIGHTBLACK MORNING LIGHT’s debut CD is a really great mélange of Memphis soul, backwards percussion loops that sound almost dub-like, and weirdly transcendent, fluttering instrumentation that exist in their space & no one else’s. I’m really into it, and have been listening to it nonstop for two weeks. The first track, “Everybody Daylight”, will be the one to grab you if any of them will – it’s got a real deceptively lowdown feel, with horns, quietly tinkling keyboards & grooveful organ, and like a lot of the tracks on here, it’s kind of a “jam” that goes on for a bit and I’m telling ya, you won’t mind in the least. The vocals on this are run through different effects boxes that give the impression of a chorus of dirty angels hovering over the molasses-paced grooves underneath. Very nice. It’s kind of a new step forward for indie rock in 2006 – I mean, there are bands like Calexico & Califone and even Giant Sand at times who’ve sounded sorta like this in the past, but those bands really do sound a bit too indie for my taste & this stuff’s too strange to truly be compared with them. Justin Farrar at the SF Weekly correctly states that “this 10-track collection of hushed, slow-drip gospel funk is the perfect prescription — I mean soundtrack — to skinny white boys lining their veins with gold at 3 a.m.”. If that sound like you, then come on aboard.