Toronto based four-piece pop rockers Brighter Brightest are back with their new EP ARROW, released just last week, and DAMN is it good. Engineered, produced, and mixed by frontman Derek Hoffman at his personal studio, Fox Sounds, this album sounds unreal from a sonic standpoint. Audiophiles in the room, please standup – the drums are some of the best I’ve heard, in fact, I challenge you to find me better sounding recorded drums.
The album opener, “Strike Gold”, is particularly awesome for a number of reasons. Firstly, HOOKY AS FUCK. The vibe suits nearly any Top 40 radio format, which of course, despite what beatniks and hipsters will tell you, is not inescapably a negative quality. While I do not champion a ton of songs filling the airwaves on Virgin Radio, there are those exceptional standout tracks – ahem, Katy Perry can do NO WRONG. Anyway, the song fits in well with the likes of Marianas Trench, Hedley, The Maine, and even some of the poppier Snow Patrol tracks.
Secondly, the content of the song is really cool in my opinion. The song is effectively about musicians and bands who have been working at their art for so long without ever really achieving that breakthrough hit that lands them a spot on YOURFAVOURITEMUSICFESTIVAL. So, they write a safe, radio friendly ‘hit’, and hope for the best – aka “sell-out”. Alright, fair enough, but what gets me is how self-aware this track is. The song itself is a clean-cut pop anthem, arguably, a selling out for Brighter Brightest. However, at closer glance this song is a critique of those artists that consciously strive for the Billboard Top 100. Hoffman reflects, “I used to think that people got big writing good songs from the heart. But now I know that people just like to get a number 1 on the pop chart,” and later, “that everybody thought it’d be easy to strike gold.” To me, this comes across as a critique of artists allowing the industry to shape them, rather than shape the industry themselves. Pretty sweet, and packaged so nicely into a fun pop song.
For calling out other bands/musicians in the scene for producing vapid, what-the-kids-want, cheap thrills rather than articulating and creating something sincere, Brighter Brightest’s “Strike Gold” is super dope. The whole EP ARROW is available for free to download on their bandcamp, check it out.
Stage dives and high fives,