Swiss band Bright Smoke passes on labels, genres and objectives in favour of chemistry and diversity
When I first listened to Bright Smoke’s newest single Follow My Dreams, I was quick to box them into a category. Don’t get me wrong, I love their sound. Plus they’re a very tight band. But they took me back to the days of yore and the first name that came to mind was Blink-182, if the lead vocalist was the late Dolores O’Riordan. Words like alternative, post-punk and indie pop were doing backstrokes in my mind.
Then I listened to a second song and a third and very soon I found myself sandwiched between two decades and a range of influences from Joy Division to Smashing Pumpkins and everything in between. In fact the band is quick to point out that one may find, “references to the golden years of rock, funk and r’n’b, all inside the same frame.”
It is when you listen to parts of each song in isolation, you begin to realise how versatile this band actually is. Vocalist Jessica Tekin is adaptable. You're thinking Dolores and right then she switches to Leigh Nash and just as easily to Andrea Corr. I loved her in Gloomy Sunday, where the musical arrangement is a cornucopia of styles. The pre chorus lifts make you believe you're headed into a New-Orderish world, but suddenly... it all stops. You're back to The Cranberries followed by a hard/glam rock guitar interlude. It's a beautiful, organised sort of chaos.
As I've mentioned before, the chemistry between the various members (two of whom happen to live in London) is remarkable. This is especially recognisable in the mellower I Can't Win With You. Tekin, also the band's rhythm guitarist, and bass guitar player, Miguel Rozalen have been the only consistent members from the beginning, yet they seem to have found guitarist Christopher Bignamini and Drummer Dario Pedrazzi, both perfect fits for the band. I guess when one's not boxed into a genre with specific objectives, the addition of good musicians can only make things better.
Bright Smoke has received their fair share of news coverage and has had a significant national radio presence in Switzerland, most notable on Zurich-based music portal MX3 Music. 2020 began well with recording session of their first and much-anticipated official album Fear Against Hope, but was postponed due to Covid-19. They, however, have released two singles I Can't Win With You and Gloomy Sunday to whet our appetites. We wish them all the best and really can't wait to listen to Fear Against Hope to see where they take us next!