Brighter - Out To Sea CD
Essential new 20-track collection of rarities and unreleased tracks from beloved English band Brighter. From 1989 to 1992, the trio of Alison Cousens, Keris Howard and Alex Sharkey recorded four singles for the renowned Sarah Records imprint (previously collected by Matinée on the 'Singles' CD in 2003), and a wealth of other songs collected on this new compilation.
'Out To Sea' begins with eight tracks that formed the long out of print and highly sought after 'Laurel' mini-album released on Sarah. These eight tracks are archetypal of the Brighter sound–melodic, pastoral pop with carefully strummed guitars, keyboards, and wonderfully introspective, poignant vocals from Keris Howard. The album features several of the band's best known songs including indie classics 'Ocean Sky' and 'Christmas.' Also showcasing Brighter's ability to pen upbeat, jangly pop hits, 'Out To Sea' features five early 4-track recordings originally released on limited edition flexidiscs by the German labels Blam-A-Bit and Sturm und Drang. Perhaps more than later recordings, these fan favorites demonstrate the band's expertise in layering instruments and voice together to form a melodic wall of sound. Elsewhere, the beautifully fragile 'Still'–the last of the 14 previously released tracks on 'Out To Sea'–is a melancholy pop rarity originally found on the 'Beckett House' compilation.
Among the album's six unreleased tracks are four songs from a scrapped debut album recorded in 1990. Other songs from this album were later rerecorded for 'Laurel' but these four–'There's Nothing We Can Do,' 'Nothing At All,' 'Hope To God' and 'Amy Never Knew'–were passed over for newer compositions and remained unreleased until today. Additional unreleased gems 'If I Could See' and 'Wallflower' were recorded at the same time as 'Laurel' but dropped from that release and languished in the vaults. They are among the most immediate songs the band ever wrote and, with this release, are likely to become posthumous Brighter classics more than 15 years after their recording.
Following the final release as Brighter in 1992, Keris Howard and Alex Sharkey released the one-off 'Election Day' EP under the name Hal. Several years later, Howard formed the popular band Harper Lee and appeared as bassist for Trembling Blue Stars, while Sharkey joined Fosca for a time before launching a solo career as Pinkie. Packaged in a lavish digipak and digitally remastered, 'Out To Sea' is the perfect complement to Brighter's 'Singles' collection and another inspired entry in the Matinée discography. (matcd041)