Bright Light Bright Light

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Bright Light Bright Light
Bright Light Bright Light Moves 1.jpg
Bright Light Bright Light performing in September 2016
Background information
Birth nameRod Thomas
Born (1982-10-30) 30 October 1982 (age 37)
Neath, Wales
GenresElectropop, dance, disco, house, alternative
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, DJ, producer
Instrumentsvoice, piano, guitar, saxophone, bass, ukulele
Years active2010–present
LabelsSelf Raising Records
Associated actsElton John, Scissor Sisters, Slow Knights, Alan Cumming, Mykal Kilgore, Cher, Erasure
Websitebrightlightx2.com

Rod Thomas (stage name Bright Light Bright Light) is a Welsh independent singer-songwriter, based in New York. Bright Light Bright Light incorporates many elements of nu-disco into his music, also branching into synthpop, dance and house music. Two of his albums have reached the top 20 on the UK Independent Albums Chart.

Career[edit]

Performing as Rod Thomas in 2006

Thomas grew up in a small village near Neath, Wales[1] and learned several instruments as a child including the piano. His first forays into music were more folk-based, led by acoustic guitar and, due to a lack of equipment, with minimal beats around it. Thomas later stated that his dalliance with folk was due to his lack of knowledge with production techniques, and that he was always drawn to house and synthpop.[2] He left Wales to take a place reading English literature and creative writing at Warwick University, and after that, made the move to London.[3] In London he set up a studio at his home, and spent the rush hours busking the busy London tube stations. In 2009 he sent some demo tracks to American producer Boom Bip, which resulted in Thomas being invited to Los Angeles for two weeks to work on tracks together. Thomas stated that Boom Bip's production on the song "A New Word to Say" helped him find "his sound".[1]

Thomas released, "Love Part II", his first single under the name Bright Light Bright Light, in 2010 on the Popjustice Hi-Fi label.[3] Thomas chose the name 'Bright Light Bright Light' from a quote spoken by the character Gizmo in the 1984 movie Gremlins.[4] 2010 also saw him tour as the support act for Ellie Goulding.[1] The singles "Disco Moment" and "Feel It" followed through 2011 and 2012, and after appearances at Bestival in the UK and South by South West in the US he released his debut album Make Me Believe in Hope in 2012.[1][3]

The album tracks to Make Me Believe in Hope were co-written and produced by Rod Thomas, The Invisible Men and Andy Chatterley. The album features several collaborations, including vocals from Scissor Sisters' guitarist Del Marquis on the track "Cry at Films". Make Me Believe in Hope was released in the UK on 4 June 2012 through independent label Aztec Records, and the album received generally positive reviews from music critics and bloggers, with The Fly magazine noting the album as one the releases that just missed its annual top 50.[5] The album was voted at number 4 in The Guardian's Reader Choice: Best Albums of 2012 Bright Light Bright Light released the single "Disco Moment" from the album which was placed on the BBC Radio 1 play list.[3] In June 2012 the album made the final shortlist for the annual Welsh Music Prize, but lost to Future of the Left.[6] 2012 also saw Bright Light Bright Light support Scissor Sisters on four venues of their UK tour.[7]

In 2013, the EP "In Your Care" was released followed by a second single from Thomas' second album, "I Wish We Were Leaving" featuring Elton John. Following the song's release, Thomas toured with Elton John during the summer of 2014. Bright Light Bright Light's second album Life is Easy was released in the UK on 7 July 2014, charting at No. 139 on the UK albums chart, and was preceded by the single "I Believe" on 29 June. Thomas then spent most of 2014 and 2015 touring as the opening act for Elton John in the USA, Canada, UK, Europe & Russia playing 55 shows. He also ended 2015 with a short US tour opening for John Grant.

The year 2016 saw his third album 'Choreography' released, entering the UK Album Chart at No. 72, but at No. 1 on the Independent Album Breakers chart, and at No. 12 on the US Billboard Dance / Electronic Album Chart. The album features guest appearances by Elton John, Alan Cumming, all Scissor Sisters members and Mykal Kilgore. All guests feature on the album's lead single "All In The Name" which was unveiled in a live performance on Graham Norton's BBC TV show with Sir Elton John on stage with him. The song was also added to the Radio 2 B-list playlist and scored Thomas his most wide-reaching single to date.

Aside from creating his own music, Thomas runs a daytime dance party in New York (which also transfers to London when touring) called 'Romy & Michele's Saturday Afternoon Tea Dance', named after "Romy & Michele's High School Reunion", one of his favourite films. The party takes place both in Brooklyn and at Club Cumming, a bar in Manhattan's East Village run by Alan Cumming, who stars in the film that inspired the event.

In 2017 Thomas also appeared as an extra in one of his favourite TV series "The League Of Gentlemen" in the first episode of their three-part TV return "Return To Royston Vasey" as a job seeker in Pauline's restart class.

In 2019 he was picked as the opening act for Cher's European tour, playing 9 shows across Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden.

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

As Rod Thomas[edit]

Year Title UK Album
2006 "Good Coat" Until Something Fits
2007 "Your Love Is a Tease"
2008 "You Get Goodbyes"
"Same Old Lines"

As Bright Light Bright Light[edit]

Year Title UK US Dance UK Commercial

Pop

Album
2010 "Love Part II" Make Me Believe in Hope
2011 "Disco Moment"
2012 "Waiting for the Feeling"[8]
"Feel It" (featuring Mykal Kilgore)[9]
2013 "Moves"[10]
"In Your Care"[11] Life Is Easy
2014 "I Wish We Were Leaving" (with Elton John)[12][13]
"I Believe"[14]
"An Open Heart"[15]
"Everything I Ever Wanted"[16]
2015 "There Are No Miracles"[17]
"Good Luck (Remix)" (featuring Ana Matronic)[18] Life Is Hard: The Remixes
2016 "All in the Name" (featuring Elton John) 25 9 Choreography
"Symmetry of Two Hearts" (featuring Elton John) 34 19
2017 "Running Back To You" (featuring Elton John) _ 32 31
2017 "Into The Night" - 26

EPs[edit]

As Rod Thomas[edit]

  • 2008: The Festivals EP

As Bright Light Bright Light[edit]

Year Title UK Indie Breakers US Dance / Electronic
2011 Limited Edition Tour EP (Limited edition album)
2012 Blueprints EP 1 (US release only)
2014 Tour EP 2014 (Limited edition album)
2016 Cinematography 6 30
2017 Cinematography II: Back In The Habit 11 14
Cinematography 3: Merry Christmas, You Filthy Animal - 19
Tales of the City

Albums[edit]

As Rod Thomas[edit]

Year Title UK UK Indie UK Indie Breakers
2009 Until Something Fits

As Bright Light Bright Light[edit]

Year Title UK
[19]
UK Indie UK Indie Breakers US Dance / Electronic US Heatseekers
2012 Make Me Believe in Hope (re-released in 2013 as Make Me Believe in Hope: The New Batch)
B-Sides, Rarities & Remixes (Limited edition album)
2013 Make Me Believe in Hope: Blueprints Version
(acoustic version of Make Me Believe in Hope)
2014 Life is Easy 139[20] 19[21] 3[22]
2015 Life is Hard - The Remixes - - 17[23]
2016 Choreography 72 11 1 12 39
2018 Live Is Easy: On Tour with Erasure

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Bright Light Bright Light". swnfest.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  2. ^ Freeman, John (8 February 2011). "I'm Not Some Sort of Genius: Bright Light Bright Light Interviewed". thequietus.com. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d "Make Me Believe in Hope – Bright Light Bright Light". welshmusicprize.com. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  4. ^ Cragg, Michael (30 June 2011). "New music: Bright Light Bright Light – Disco Moment". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  5. ^ Cragg, Michael. "Missed The 50: Bright Light Bright Light 'Make Me Believe in Hope'". The Fly Magazine. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  6. ^ "Welsh Music Prize: Future of the Left named winners". BBC News. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  7. ^ Beattie, Siobhanne (5 November 2012). "Gutter Talk : Bright Light, Bright Light". Gutter Magazine. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Waiting for the Feeling". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
  9. ^ "Feel It". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
  10. ^ "Moves EP". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
  11. ^ "In Your Care". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
  12. ^ "Future Releases on Triple A (AAA) Radio Stations". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014.
  13. ^ "I Wish We Were Leaving". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
  14. ^ "I Believe". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
  15. ^ "An Open Heart". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
  16. ^ "Everything I Ever Wanted". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
  17. ^ "There Are No Miracles". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
  18. ^ "Good Luck". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
  19. ^ "BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT | full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  20. ^ "CHART: CLUK Update 19.07.2014 (wk28)". Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  21. ^ "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50 - Official Charts Company". Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  22. ^ "Official Independent Album Breakers Chart Top 20 - Official Charts Company". Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  23. ^ [1]