Bright Light Bright Light
Bright Light Bright Light performing in September 2016
|Birth name||Rod Thomas|
|Born||30 October 1982|
|Genres||Electropop, dance, disco, house, alternative|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, DJ, producer|
|Instruments||voice, piano, guitar, saxophone, bass, ukulele|
|Labels||Self Raising Records|
|Associated acts||Elton John, Scissor Sisters, Slow Knights, Alan Cumming, Mykal Kilgore, Cher, Erasure|
Rod Thomas (stage name Bright Light Bright Light) is a Welsh independent singer-songwriter, based in New York. Bright Light Bright Light incorporates many elements of nu-disco into his music, also branching into synthpop, dance and house music. Two of his albums have reached the top 20 on the UK Independent Albums Chart.
Thomas grew up in a small village near Neath, Wales and learned several instruments as a child including the piano. His first forays into music were more folk-based, led by acoustic guitar and, due to a lack of equipment, with minimal beats around it. Thomas later stated that his dalliance with folk was due to his lack of knowledge with production techniques, and that he was always drawn to house and synthpop. He left Wales to take a place reading English literature and creative writing at Warwick University, and after that, made the move to London. In London he set up a studio at his home, and spent the rush hours busking the busy London tube stations. In 2009 he sent some demo tracks to American producer Boom Bip, which resulted in Thomas being invited to Los Angeles for two weeks to work on tracks together. Thomas stated that Boom Bip's production on the song "A New Word to Say" helped him find "his sound".
Thomas released, "Love Part II", his first single under the name Bright Light Bright Light, in 2010 on the Popjustice Hi-Fi label. Thomas chose the name 'Bright Light Bright Light' from a quote spoken by the character Gizmo in the 1984 movie Gremlins. 2010 also saw him tour as the support act for Ellie Goulding. The singles "Disco Moment" and "Feel It" followed through 2011 and 2012, and after appearances at Bestival in the UK and South by South West in the US he released his debut album Make Me Believe in Hope in 2012.
The album tracks to Make Me Believe in Hope were co-written and produced by Rod Thomas, The Invisible Men and Andy Chatterley. The album features several collaborations, including vocals from Scissor Sisters' guitarist Del Marquis on the track "Cry at Films". Make Me Believe in Hope was released in the UK on 4 June 2012 through independent label Aztec Records, and the album received generally positive reviews from music critics and bloggers, with The Fly magazine noting the album as one the releases that just missed its annual top 50. The album was voted at number 4 in The Guardian's Reader Choice: Best Albums of 2012 Bright Light Bright Light released the single "Disco Moment" from the album which was placed on the BBC Radio 1 play list. In June 2012 the album made the final shortlist for the annual Welsh Music Prize, but lost to Future of the Left. 2012 also saw Bright Light Bright Light support Scissor Sisters on four venues of their UK tour.
In 2013, the EP "In Your Care" was released followed by a second single from Thomas' second album, "I Wish We Were Leaving" featuring Elton John. Following the song's release, Thomas toured with Elton John during the summer of 2014. Bright Light Bright Light's second album Life is Easy was released in the UK on 7 July 2014, charting at No. 139 on the UK albums chart, and was preceded by the single "I Believe" on 29 June. Thomas then spent most of 2014 and 2015 touring as the opening act for Elton John in the USA, Canada, UK, Europe & Russia playing 55 shows. He also ended 2015 with a short US tour opening for John Grant.
The year 2016 saw his third album 'Choreography' released, entering the UK Album Chart at No. 72, but at No. 1 on the Independent Album Breakers chart, and at No. 12 on the US Billboard Dance / Electronic Album Chart. The album features guest appearances by Elton John, Alan Cumming, all Scissor Sisters members and Mykal Kilgore. All guests feature on the album's lead single "All In The Name" which was unveiled in a live performance on Graham Norton's BBC TV show with Sir Elton John on stage with him. The song was also added to the Radio 2 B-list playlist and scored Thomas his most wide-reaching single to date.
Aside from creating his own music, Thomas runs a daytime dance party in New York (which also transfers to London when touring) called 'Romy & Michele's Saturday Afternoon Tea Dance', named after "Romy & Michele's High School Reunion", one of his favourite films. The party takes place both in Brooklyn and at Club Cumming, a bar in Manhattan's East Village run by Alan Cumming, who stars in the film that inspired the event.
In 2017 Thomas also appeared as an extra in one of his favourite TV series "The League Of Gentlemen" in the first episode of their three-part TV return "Return To Royston Vasey" as a job seeker in Pauline's restart class.
In 2019 he was picked as the opening act for Cher's European tour, playing 9 shows across Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden.
On March 27th 2020 he released "This Was My House" featuring Madonna's iconic backing singers Niki Haris and Donna De Lory, produced by Initial Talk, as the first song from his 4th album 'Fun City'. The song was described as "a perfect disco song" by Paper Magazine, written about how the LGBTQ+ community's safe spaces have been under attack in recent times, and how despite the upsurge in anti-LGBTQ+ and xenophobic rhetoric, everybody deserves to feel safe in the place they call home.
As Rod Thomas
|2006||"Good Coat"||–||Until Something Fits|
|2007||"Your Love Is a Tease"||–|
|2008||"You Get Goodbyes"||–|
|"Same Old Lines"||–|
As Bright Light Bright Light
|Year||Title||UK||US Dance||UK Commercial
|2010||"Love Part II"||—||Make Me Believe in Hope|
|2012||"Waiting for the Feeling"||—||—|
|"Feel It" (featuring Mykal Kilgore)||—||—|
|"In Your Care"||—||—||Life Is Easy|
|2014||"I Wish We Were Leaving" (with Elton John)||—||—|
|"An Open Heart"||—||—|
|"Everything I Ever Wanted"||—||—|
|2015||"There Are No Miracles"||—||—|
|"Good Luck (Remix)" (featuring Ana Matronic)||—||—||Life Is Hard: The Remixes|
|2016||"All in the Name" (featuring Elton John)||—||25||9||Choreography|
|"Symmetry of Two Hearts" (featuring Elton John)||—||34||19|
|2017||"Running Back To You" (featuring Elton John)||_||32||31|
|2017||"Into The Night"||-||26|
|2020||"This Was My House" (featuring Niki Haris, Donna De Lory & Initial Talk)||6||Fun City|
As Rod Thomas
- 2008: The Festivals EP
As Bright Light Bright Light
|Year||Title||UK Indie Breakers||US Dance / Electronic|
|2011||Limited Edition Tour EP (Limited edition album)||–||–|
|2012||Blueprints EP 1 (US release only)||–||–|
|2014||Tour EP 2014 (Limited edition album)||–||–|
|2017||Cinematography II: Back In The Habit||11||14|
|Cinematography 3: Merry Christmas, You Filthy Animal||-||19|
|Tales of the City|
As Rod Thomas
|Year||Title||UK||UK Indie||UK Indie Breakers|
|2009||Until Something Fits||–||–||–|
As Bright Light Bright Light
|UK Indie||UK Indie Breakers||US Dance / Electronic||US Heatseekers|
|2012||Make Me Believe in Hope (re-released in 2013 as Make Me Believe in Hope: The New Batch)||–||–||–|
|B-Sides, Rarities & Remixes (Limited edition album)||–||–||–|
|2013||Make Me Believe in Hope: Blueprints Version
(acoustic version of Make Me Believe in Hope)
|2014||Life is Easy||139||19||3|
|2015||Life is Hard - The Remixes||-||-||17|
|2018||Live Is Easy: On Tour with Erasure|
- "Bright Light Bright Light". swnfest.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
- Freeman, John (8 February 2011). "I'm Not Some Sort of Genius: Bright Light Bright Light Interviewed". thequietus.com. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
- "Make Me Believe in Hope – Bright Light Bright Light". welshmusicprize.com. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
- Cragg, Michael (30 June 2011). "New music: Bright Light Bright Light – Disco Moment". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
- Cragg, Michael. "Missed The 50: Bright Light Bright Light 'Make Me Believe in Hope'". The Fly Magazine. Archived from the original on 1 February 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
- "Welsh Music Prize: Future of the Left named winners". BBC News. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
- Beattie, Siobhanne (5 November 2012). "Gutter Talk : Bright Light, Bright Light". Gutter Magazine. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
- "Listen to This Disco Song Right Now". PAPER. 27 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
- "Waiting for the Feeling". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- "Feel It". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- "Moves EP". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
- "In Your Care". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
- "Future Releases on Triple A (AAA) Radio Stations". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014.
- "I Wish We Were Leaving". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
- "I Believe". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
- "An Open Heart". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
- "Everything I Ever Wanted". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
- "There Are No Miracles". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
- "Good Luck". Retrieved 4 June 2016 – via Amazon.
- "BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT | full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
- "CHART: CLUK Update 19.07.2014 (wk28)". Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50 - Official Charts Company". Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- "Official Independent Album Breakers Chart Top 20 - Official Charts Company". Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- "Official Independent Album Breakers Chart Top 20 | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 4 July 2020.