The Bright Light Social Hour: “Lifers Only”

Jaycee Grover

Since the release of their 2010 eponymous debut, whose tracks have racked up millions of streams, The Bright Light Social Hour has become a big part of Austin’s – and by extension – KUTX’s musical character. Even after all these years (and a lineup change that keeps the core duo of Jackie O’Brien and Curtis Roush intact), this quintet continues to innovate and inspire awe within the indie-psych sphere. To the point that it seems like Bright Light Social Hour’s time to shine could easily span several more decades.

That “in for the long haul” momentum’s helped the band out on a far-reaching North American tour lasting through November, one that extends to both Canada and Mexico, and includes a stop at the Mohawk along with Good Looks on September 30th as part of KUTX’s 10th Birthday Concert Series. The occasion? TBLSH’s fifth full-length, Emergency Leisure, out today. Flirting with elements of French disco, experimentalism, and a whole slew of intense emotions, Emergency Leisure marks the start of an auspicious new era for this five-piece, albeit atop the familiar “Texan trippy” formulas we’ve fallen for with each preceding LP.

And just like its title implies, Emergency Leisure is a potent dose of cosmic R&R for your ear drums, so if you’re dire need of a vacation but don’t have the bandwidth, by the time you get to “Lifers Only” you’ll feel like a whole load’s been lifted off. Despite its monotonic robot intro, there’s a ton of human heart in this effects-drenched progressive piece of endurance. And right around the two minute mark, TBLSH pulls the rug out with poignant Pink Floyd vibes – further proof of what the late great John Aielli described as a “sweet but sinister” style, a perfect description of Bright Light’s sibylline vibe.

Lifers Only

The Bright Light Social Hour

The Bright Light Social Hour: “Lifers Only”

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