New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Brooklyn-based duo, The Bright Smoke, announce their third, forthcoming album, Gross National
Happiness, due out July 5. This release will be their first in four years, and of course, quite a bit has happened politically since then. Themes on the record range from reflecting on the dangers of false virtue, pushing boundaries, being the victim and the aggressor in the same breath, calling an end of violence, art as whole, and a subject dear to the band, identifying as queer.
First single and video, "Model Citizen," sets the stage for the album and aims directly at the hypocrisy of American government. LADYGUNN, who debuted the single, says, "The two create a moody ambiance that fuses together their own style of blues and indie rock that is quite an unforgettable experience. Wilson's voice is a huskier version and evokes an equivalent spirit of Florence Welch's."
Wilson, who wrote the song, says she "was inspired by watching a parade of public figures claiming to only want the best for people lobbying to do immeasurable amounts of harm to vulnerable populations. The sound and tone are upbeat with a tonally bright bridge that contradicts the meaning of the lyrics."
Ledbetter, who directed the video, says, "A lot of artists have a compulsion to create and share that exists right alongside of an overwhelming sense insecurity and inadequacy. In this video we tried to show how it feels to be at the precipice of giving up on yourself, while something inside of you forces you to keep going."
With their first studio album in 4 years, The Bright Smoke will release Gross National
Happiness, produced by Quincy
Ledbetter. A reinvention: written as a result of their first hiatus from live performance since forming in 2012, Gross National
Happiness was recorded during a two year process of reckoning with unexpected personal, public, and global upheaval. Inspired by a toggling between witnessing a world that appears to be off its axis while still remaining steeped in the petty concerns of day-to-day life, the album takes on the voices of multiple narrators each increasingly less sympathetic and redeemable.
Mia Wilson of The Bright Smoke was dubbed as one of NYLON's "10 Queer
girls in music we're obsessed with" and they said, "Her sultry vocals are timeless, and juxtaposed over the electronic vibes." On being queer in 2019, Wilson says, "It's always a bummer when we're still dealing with erasure of any kind within our community due to internal identity policing. Radical visibility and inclusion across the spectrum is essential."
The Bright Smoke is the project of musician and songwriter, Mia Wilson and filmmaker, producer, and musician, Quincy
Ledbetter. Constant collaborators for over 10 years, Wilson (guitar, vocals) and Ledbetter (guitar, bass) began The Bright Smoke in 2012 in Brooklyn as a solo performance project before quickly evolving into a full band with the addition of Karl Thomas
(drums) in 2014 and solidifying their current line-up as a three piece touring act.
They have been profiled in Filter
Magazine, The Deli, Baeble Music, Diffuser, Impose, Curve, and New York Music
Daily among others and have been described as "A beautifully eerie example of what music can sound like when it has no limitations (Diffuser)" and "an instillation of despondent intrigue that creates a positive vibe with a twang of the gloomy (The Deli)."
Having played extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada in support of their releases, Late for War(2012), Virginia et. al. (2012), and Terrible Towns (2015), Wilson and Ledbetter took a break from performing live after their 2016/2017 Terrible Towns U.S. tour to head back into the studio to create what is set to be their most ambitious album to date.
The Bright Smoke will release Gross National
Happiness their first studio album in 4 years in June 2019.