Song of the Day

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March 17, 2023

The Bright Light Social Hour: “Not New”

By: Jack Anderson

Typically around the tail end of SXSW music week, there’s a lot of local magic. It could be Bill Murray hopping behind a dive bar and serving up whatever he wants, or a relatively undiscovered up-and-comer getting an unexpected big break. But today we’re talking about the Austin representation, something that can get easily eclipsed by all the international faces at SX.

Now, we here at KUTX have gushed again and again over The Bright Light Social Hour, which makes sense since they’ve been with us even before the start of our call letters. So rather than recap what makes ’em so great (like their continuously progressing sound and willingness to team up with fellow Austinites), let’s just jump right into what Bright Light’s got in their limelight.

This morning The Bright Light Social Hour announced their fifth full-length Emergency Leisure. Down to its Slow Rush-reminiscent title, it seems like TBLSH is taking a sweet-yet-sinister Tame Impala daytime disco/indie-psych approach. But true to the Bright Light’s nature, Emergency Leisure isn’t just a full-band vehicle for one singer-songwriter (looking at you, Kevin Parker); instead its a seamlessly collaborative exchange perfected over nearly two decades of playing together that translates in-studio just as well as it does onstage.

For a taste of the ladder, check out The Bright Light Social Hour 8PM this evening at Parlor & Yard, 1AM late tonight at Parish for the Mint Talent Group official showcase, or 5PM Sunday at Rustic Tap. As of now, Rustic Tap looks like Bright Light’s last local gig until after Emergency Leisure comes out August 2nd, when the group hits the road on a three-plus-month tour. And while all that may sound like short notice, you gotta remember who we’re dealing with here; The Bright Light Social Hour always comes in cool and calculated, even when they drop Emergency Leisure‘s lead single like some high-powered blotter paper as they did this morning. Alongside its music video, “Not New” will knock you back with its driving-but-subdued sonics that are almost too cool to party to. Almost.


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