Music’s New Bright, Shining Light

An unlikely electronic pop star emerges from Wales with impressive lyrics and a smooth sound.

BY Brett Edward Stout

July 25 2012 5:00 AM ET

A rural town near a coal mine in Wales may seem an unlikely place to find an electronic singer/songwriter. As a child, Rod Thomas, known to music connoisseurs as Bright Light Bright Light, spent weekends on his grandmother’s farm and evenings absorbing music through the radio. Even at an early age, he remembers devoting nearly all his creative energy into musical interest. “I would say music isn't an escape as such, it's more of a backbone.”

He doesn’t dwell much on his early school years, but once he entered college, he found himself confronted with the realities of adulthood.

“In university I found myself very lost,” he says. “I had no idea who I was or what I wanted to be.” Even more pressing than that, he faced the terrifying truth that he was gay. “It's very strange thinking you have to ‘own up’ to something that you haven't chosen to do.”

Once out of school, Thomas immersed himself in music and took a methodical approach to the industry. He took a job at a local indie record shop, acquainted himself with the distributors and talent, and in turn, took lessons from those mentors to begin building a sound of his own. In 2006, under his real name, he produced his first track, the acoustic and wistful “Good Coat” which is a perfect example of his smooth vocals, ear for melody, and complex lyrics. Eventually his attention transitioned from acoustic to electronic. With a new sound and a fully formed idea of the musician he wanted to be, Bright Light Bright Light (a homage to one of his favorite films, Gremlins) was born.

Tags: Music

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