Press Reviews of Year One

Already Heard

Hailing from the not-so-sunny seaside town of Eastbourne comes Laurie Cottingham, AKA Brightr. He brings to the table a captivating twelve track emotionally-fuelled record ‘Year One’. A very personal record, honesty runs deep throughout ‘Year One’ as acoustic melodies and authentic lyricism permeate throughout.

‘We’ introduces the record to everything that the album will be. Cottingham’s gentle voice is comforting which compels you to listen to each word. Paired perfectly with upbeat, pacey acoustic strums, ‘Lanterns’ is very short but very sweet and one to replay. The range and perseverance of Cottingham’s strong vocal abilities is displayed in ‘Like Paper’ which comes complete with a main airy and intricate acoustic riff.

A future crowd pleaser for sure, ‘Clearly More Ruined Than Rome’ echoes memorable lyrics and comes with an addicting tempo. It’s once again a very short song but packs what it needs to into the short minute in a half that it is played for. ‘Sleeping for the Week’ is a different one. Reflective, sweeping and slow with poignant lyrics carry the song which at the latter end abruptly snaps into the up-tempo pace notable in the previous tracks. Carried by the subtle use of simple, upbeat percussion, ‘Incredible Pens’ draws the fresh new record to a close and has left Brightr very welcome to return with new material.

‘Year One’ is an incredibly humble and raw record – something that you don’t see very often – and is a perfect example of what good old gloomy emo pop should be like. The intricate mathy acoustic guitar is the shining star along with Laurie’s consistently emotion-filled vocals. Arguably, it takes a lot to sit through a 12-track record and listen to each song in full but with ‘Year One’, you will most definitely want to do this.



Self-described as gloomy emo-pop, Eastbourne’s Brightr takes inspiration from some pretty great acts; think a mix of Into It. Over It., Motion City Soundtrack and Jack’s Mannequin and you’re about there. After stints in numerous bands, Laurie, the great mind behind Brightr, is now venturing out into the world on his own with his debut album ‘Year One’.

Tracks such as ‘Sleight of Hand’ and ‘Alright, Okay’ displays Brightr’s rich, autumnal tones, as his lyrics tumble over a flurry of strong, quick guitar work. His vocals are the real diamond here, they’re captivating and huge yet gently lilt during songs like ‘Lanterns’. Throughout the course of this album, Brightr constantly displays a sublime beauty, from the gently picking of his guitar to his mighty vocals. ‘Clearly More Ruined than Rome’ and ‘Sleeping For the Week’ simply soar and are absolute delights to listen to.

His lyrics are hopefully optimistic. During ‘We’, lines such as “We are the ones who always try to do our best” display a sweet sense of hope that’ll get people singing along at his shows with a drink in one hand and their best friend/lover/pet cat in the other. And then you have ‘Incredible Pens’, which is a stunning and haunting close to this album. After five minutes of silence, Laurie’s voice breaks through, as strong and unwavering as it’s been throughout the course of this album.

Brightr’s drawn on personal and emotive experiences to bring an album that’s personable and friendly. Sure, he’s singing about some not-so-great things, but he’s got a wonderful sense of optimism that everything will turn out okay in the end. We need more people like Brightr roaming the music world.


Una sera – una delle poche sere in qui I fantastici 4 interrompono la loro vita da settantenni fatta di coperte con le braccia, calze a forma di animali, video di gatti e Netflix – eravamo all’Honky, meno a caso del solito perché era il compleanno di Mazza. Suonavano delle band un po’ troppo  HC per i nostri gusti “too pop for the punk kids”, quindi l’idea di base era quella di presenziare.

Sedute al solito tavolino, prendiamo i nostri caffè (senza cannuccia), i nostri drink da femmine, e parliamo di cose irrilevanti tipo laurearsi, andare a Miami alla festa dell’aglio e vedere i TBS, i saldi, persone e cose, quando ad un certo punto la nostra attenzione viene completamente catturata dalla voce del tipello sul palco.

”Mazza chi è questo che suona?”

”Si chiama Brightr” .

Brightr è il nome del progetto solista di Laurie Cottingham, nato dall’incapacità del cantautore di non fare musica dopo lo scioglimento della sua ultima band, e “Year One” è il suo primo full length, fatto di 12 brani onesti ed introspettivi.

Il disco parte con “We” da cui possiamo già intuire i tratti distintivi e la direzione in cui si muove questo lavoro: chitarra acustica trascinante e melodie catchy cantate da una voce calda, sincera e affettuosa.

Il disco va giù liscio e piacevole come tè caldo e biscotti in un pomeriggio invernale, raggiungendo l’apice in brani come “Lanterns” o “Clearly More Ruined Than Rome”.

Sonorità ricche e soffici ma rese graffianti dai testi emozionanti e personali, con quel qualcosa di ammaliante che riesce ad incantare e a non far distogliere l’attenzione.

Il tutto si chiude con “Incredible Pens” (se non ti va di aspettare svariati minuti in silenzio), il brano più upbeat del disco, che però parla dei fenomeni che fanno i leader politici su Facebook ma poi nella vita si lamentano con la mamma quando qualcuno gli passa davanti in posta (magari usando immagini più poetiche e parole più convincenti delle mie).

”Year One” è un disco bello. Bello nella definizione degli esteti di bello.

Bello come i pancake a colazione, confortevole come il proprio posto sul divano.

Year One è la voce di un amico che ne ha viste delle belle ma te le racconta sempre col sorriso sulle labbra.


Press Live Reviews

Already Heard (by Rob Mair)

Talking of talent, Brightr (5/5) (aka, a very beardy, heavily tattooed and softly spoken Laurie) is utterly captivating. If you’re planning on going to any of the subsequent shows on the tour, I cannot stress this enough – GET THERE EARLY. Sadly, as is the norm when faced with watching one chap with an acoustic guitar, some folk deem themselves more important, talking loudly throughout. It’s a real bugbear of mine – but more fool them, as Brightr could just be our very own answer to Owen or Into It. Over It. His guitarwork is frequently astonishing, recalling the mathy Kinsella-style of noodling. But he combines this with huge hooks and big choruses and he’s got a bloody fantastic set of pipes. The Hindsights boys are certainly enamoured – they head down the front and provide impromptu backing vocals on the killer ‘We’. Brilliant stuff.