Review: Brightr – Year One

Hailing from the not-so-sunny seaside town of Eastbourne comes Laurie Cottingham, AKA Brightr. He brings to the table a captivating twelve-track emotionally-fuelled record ‘Year One’. A very personal record, honesty runs deep throughout ‘Year One’ as acoustic melodies and authentic lyricism permeate throughout.

‘We’ introduces the record to everything that the album will be. Cottingham’s gentle voice is comforting which compels you to listen to each word. Paired perfectly with upbeat, pacey acoustic strums, ‘Lanterns’ is very short but very sweet and one to replay. The range and perseverance of Cottingham’s strong vocal abilities is displayed in ‘Like Paper’ which comes complete with a main airy and intricate acoustic riff.

A future crowd pleaser for sure, ‘Clearly More Ruined Than Rome’ echoes memorable lyrics and comes with an addicting tempo. It’s once again a very short song but packs what it needs to into the short minute in a half that it is played for. ‘Sleeping for the Week’ is a different one. Reflective, sweeping and slow with poignant lyrics carry the song which at the latter end abruptly snaps into the up-tempo pace notable in the previous tracks. Carried by the subtle use of simple, upbeat percussion, ‘Incredible Pens’ draws the fresh new record to a close and has left Brightr very welcome to return with new material.

‘Year One’ is an incredibly humble and raw record – something that you don’t see very often – and is a perfect example of what good old gloomy emo-pop should be like. The intricate math-y acoustic guitar is the shining star along with Laurie’s consistently emotion-filled vocals. Arguably, it takes a lot to sit through a 12-track record and listen to each song in full but with ‘Year One’, you will most definitely want to do this.


‘Year One’ by Brightr is released on March 11th on Flix Records and No Reason Records.

Brightr links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Words by Phoebe Messenger.

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