Austin psychedelic rock group, The Bright Light Social Hour are set to play The Bluebird Theater on May 13th, along with Talk In Tongues and Eldren. The band is touring in support of their their sophomore album, Space Is Still the Place, released on March 10, 2015 via Frenchkiss Records. Written, performed, produced and engineered by the band at their home studio in Austin, TX, and mixed by Chris Coady, Space Is Still the Place encompasses the idea of a “Future South,” a concept developed by the band after touring across the country over the last few years.
We had the chance to chat with The Bright Light Social Hour about their current tour and upcoming show in Denver. Check out the entire interview below, and purchase tickets HERE.
Full tour routing is listed below.
First off, congrats on the release of Space is Still the Place! This album has kind of been a long time in the making since your last release in 2010 - can you talk a little bit about the journey from then to now?
Thanks! It’s definitely been a journey. We spent a lot of time on the road and writing, and we put together a studio in order to make the record.
How do you feel that The Bright Light Social Hour has evolved since your last album? What changes or noticeable areas of growth can fans expect to hear on the new album?
We’ve grown, our tastes and interests and thoughts and emotions and what we believe music could and should do have all expanded so much. There’s a lot more outer space, it’s a lot more surreal and colorful.
Can you tell us a little bit about the underlying theme and message of Space is Still the Place?
There’s a lot of stuff moving throughout the album, thematically. Really it’s an autobiographical journey. Starting with the first track, Sweet Madelene, to Escape Velocity, the last track, it takes us from our roots, where we’re most comfortable, with a more traditional southern, rock style, to a more wondrous, open and future-gazing place, with more electronic and psychedelic textures. A lot of that was very influenced by the places and people we got to know, and their relative journeys as well.
Did you come up with the narrative and theme of the album before the writing process began, or was it something that kind of just happened?
We started writing a few songs, then would take a look at what these songs had in common, what they were saying, and talked a lot about what else we wanted to say with the music, which guided the rest of the process.
What would you like to be able to accomplish with the “Future South” mindset and message?
To encourage an embracing openness to whatever the future holds, to progress, to each other. And an appreciation for our connectedness and the power that we have when we work together. Also that we abandon the fear of sharing our struggles, because really that's what connects us all and gives us sympathy and understanding.
Now, you guys are in the middle of a tour right now - is it ever a little hard to get back in the swing of things after taking time off?
Yeah, we take one day off a week and sometimes even that’s enough to through the game off a little bit. I really like getting into the pattern of playing night after night after night.
You’ve talked about how the way you write and the content you write about changed quite a bit after you went out on the road - do you expect to find more inspiration like that on this tour?
Yea, and we absolutely have already. We’ve started a blog called Future South, www.thebrightlightsocialhour.tumblr.com, where we’re posting photos of people we’ve gotten to know on this tour, with a little insight into their lives and struggles. It’s really been so eye-opening, we’re always blown away by the people we get to know on the road.
What can fans expect from your upcoming shows? What would you like to be able to bring to the live shows?
Expectation is the source of all heartbreak. What I hope to bring is the starting point, music, for a collective journey or experience, and how far and wide and deep that goes depends entirely on the specific group of people who come together, how we all interact and connect, our collective openness to the experience.
If listeners could take away anything from your music or live performance, what would you want it to be?
Light. Take a little in and spread it around.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We’re very stoked to be making it back to Denver, we keep hearing really amazing things about the Bluebird!
5/5 Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
5/6 Vancouver, BC @ Media Club
5/8 Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern
5/9 Spokane, WA @ The Bartlett
5/10 Boise, ID @ Neurolux
5/12 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
5/13 Denver, CO @ Bluebird
5/15 Dallas, TX @ The Kessler Theater
5/16 San Antonio, TX @ Jack’s Patio Bar