With the release of Late for War, their debut effort, the Brooklyn-based act, the Bright Smoke, which consists of the duo of Mia Wilson and Quincy Ledbetter, quickly won a reputation for crafting a sound with a moody, art rock sensibility and a bluesy sensibility; in fact, when you hear them, it shouldn’t be surprising that their sound has been heavily influenced by the likes of Patti Smith, Leonard Cohen, Cat Power, PJ Harvey and Chelsea Wolfe.
Certainly, much like the utterly fantastic PJ Harvey and Chelsea Wolfe, Wilson and Ledbetter’s work possesses a haunting, unsettling air, which at times seems to pull the listening into the subtly claustrophobic, anxious darkness within the human heart.
Virginia Et. Al. the follow-up to Late to War manages to cement Wilson and Ledbetter’s reputation for a very moody sound while revealing artistic growth in a variety of ways. The first single, “Wild Again,” revealed that some of the material possessed much fuller arrangements as it contained reverberating percussion, eerily twinkling piano chords and swirling ambient electronics, along with guitar and bass behind Wilson’s gorgeous voice – a voice that at times bears an uncanny resemblance to PJ Harvey. However, the album’s latest single “God Willing” is much bluesier song with a stripped down arrangement in comparison to the album’s first single, as the song is essentially a 12 bar blues with variation, swirling electronics to create a dark, eerie vibe, bass and Wilson’s voice. The song is in some way, the sound of the ghosts of our lives, whispering and taunting us.