Comprised of Mia Wilson (vocals, guitar, piano) and Quincy Ledbetter (guitar, bass, piano), the Brooklyn-based duo of The Bright Smoke caught the attention of the biosphere after the release of their full-length debut effort, Late for War for a crafted sound that possessed a haunting, unsettling air that managed to pull the listener directly in – and into a gorgeous yet moody soundscape, which was heavily inspired by the likes of Patti Smith, Leonard Cohen, Cat Power, PJ Harvey and Chelsea Wolfe. Certainly much like PJ Harvey and Chelsea Wolfe, the material possessed a haunting, unsettling air that seems to pull the listener in towards it.
Now if you’ve been following JOVM for some time, you may be familiar with the duo of Wilson and Ledbetter, as “Wild Again,” the first single off their Virginia Et. Al. EP revealed a much more nuanced, lush sound – the material retains its overall moodiness and haunting beauty but the arrangements are fuller and more layered. On that single you heard reverberating percussion, eerie piano chords, swirling, ambient electronics, guitar and bass paired with Wilson’s vocals, which interestingly enough, bore an uncanny resemblance to PJ Harvey. Certainly, Virginia Et. Al. also served as a glimpse into the material and sound that would comprise the band’s much-anticipated sophomore full-length effort, Terrible Towns, which is slated for release later this spring.
“Exit Door,” Wilson and Ledbetter’s latest single is en eerily spectral and hazy song that channels forlorn blues and country songs played on scratchy and dusty albums and the dark atmospheric vibe of Joy Division as the song is comprised of twangy guitars fed through gentle washes of reverb, angular and throbbing bass. brief blasts of swirling electronics and rapid-fire percussion while Wilson’s voice penetrates the foggy mix with forceful vocals that evoke accusation and despair. The song feels both like the accusations of a jilted, betrayed lover and the howl of someone desperately lonely – simultaneously. It’s eerie and profoundly affecting while drawing the listener ever so deeper.