Bright Light Bright Light finished 2014 on a high, enjoying critical praise for his second studio album Life is Easy and opening on close pal Sir Elton John’s ‘Follow the Yellow Brick Road’ Tour.
The title track opens with trademark optimism, shimmering with wondrous synths, subtle guitars and a steady dance beat. Thomas’ haunting vocals belie the glorious build up in melody, as the chorus smashes through the track’s empowering message of self-reliance (even though ‘nothing comes easy’). Defiant belts of ‘that’s sure’ further hammer down the importance of seizing the moment, whilst reassuring background harmonies ensure that this seemingly serious and potentially preachy track remains a highly listenable, joyful bop. The contributions of musical colleagues including Bridget Barkan, Xavier Smith and Scissor Sisters guitarist Del Marquis certainly help in making this an anthem. And THAT transition into the final chorus is mind-blowing and chill-inducing.
Making up the rest of the EP are several quality live performances throughout that aforementioned tour. A Lille performance of Feel It opens spectacularly with acapella, proving that Thomas has the pipes live in concert. The initially relaxed house piano devolves towards the stressful and sinister with jumpy, staccato synth bass, disturbing vocal samples and the agonised, soulful howl of a background singer.
A moody rendition of Moves (another track off Thomas’ debut) at Zurich’s Hallenstadion highlights Thomas’ vocals penetrating with the purity of a church choirboy and the ability of his music to be otherworldly and heavenly yet humanly emotional. More Than Most floats effortlessly, bringing warmth to the St Petersburg arena.
Thomas’ most recent album may proclaim that life is easy, but it is hard work, vocal talent and solid songsmanship on this EP proving that there are no miracles explaining why Thomas continues to be respected by his musical peers.