"Fire" by Bright BlackReview
Out today is the new Bright Black single called "Fire", their final to feature lead vocalist Alice Clarke who is off to pastures new (I gather that they are still looking for a replacement of any gender, so if you are interested…)
It is the follow up to their debut "Howlin'" (which can also be found on ‘Hot Music Live Presents Volume Ten' and following last week's interesting coincidence between the Ian Todd/Jack Blackman tracks "Citizens of Nowhere" and "Citizen of Nowhere", here we have the band sharing a title with fellow "Hot Music Live Presents" featured artist Izzie Derry. Once again it's no cover but an example of great minds working along similar lines.
If Izzie's "Fire" was a slow burning, smouldering affair, Bright Black's is in full inferno mode from the very start: indeed it gave me quite a shock just how loud & assertively it kicked in. If the intention was that Alice would go out in a blaze of furious glory then that plan succeeded.
Interestingly, once that attention grabbing intro is done with, the mood does swing into the smouldering: a good use of dynamics which continues throughout the song with very vivid and sudden switches: the band don't waste time here with transitional passages. Must take some technique from Jason Battershill (guitar & vocals), Alex Parsons (drums) and Adam Witt on bass.
As with most songs about fire, of course it's a metaphor: we're talking about trying to describe the hottest of passions (and in this one that does seem to encompass love/lust but also others: probably a general approach to life & music in particular). This is a song as much about defiance as anything else.
Once again there is little or no compromise on display: not just in those lyrics but also the arrangement & production (I assume courtesy of Jay Shredder) : when the band get loud, Alice simply raises her game to be heard over the top. Her replacement is going to have to pack plenty of lung power and Kevlar coated vocal cords to sing these songs.
It's been a short duration but spectacularly effective combination & it's a shame that it's come to an end, but such is the musician's experience. Our best wishes to both parties & we look forwards to what each comes up with next.