Big Light: Animals In Bloom


If there is any justice in the world, Big Light’s, Animals In Bloom will dominate and help define your summer days this year. It is an album that is meant to be played loud, very loud, with your windows down. The music is deeply textural, brilliantly cleaver, and very centered on the words and vocal inflections of the band’s songwriter, guitarist, and co-founder Fred Torphy. It is powerful, emotional music in the vein of some of the classic modern songwriters like Jeff Tweedy and Brad Barr, but with Torphy’s distinctive spin.
The band started, and still resides, in sunny San Francisco and has quickly made it’s mark on the entire west coast with it’s exciting and inspiring live performances. At the heart of the band is Torphy, an unassuming, spindly, and (at first) quiet gentleman, the kind of guy one would hope would pull up if you got a flat tire out on some lost highway. The kind of guy that would take you to a gas station, get you high, tell you some funny stories, make you forget about the stress of your forgotten flat tire, and send you back out on the highway a better person.
On Animals In Bloom, Big Light’s full length debut album, each song, while it fits puzzle perfect on the album, has it’s own personality and creative flavor. There really is no time, it seems, for this band to get stuck on one sound or groove, they come across intent on dominating as many vibes as they can. The song Heavy, hits like a beast unleashed, the layers and layers of psychedelic guitar dance on the pumped up distorted bass and attack style drums. But halfway through the heavy part of the song, it dissipates into a beautiful meditative stream of bliss for a couple of minutes before building back to it’s chunky thumping power. The gem of the album is Triceratops, it is the perfect song in so many ways. The vocals sound more like an instrument than a voice, Torphy’s growly emotive punchy intonation makes this happen. You can tell that he is feeling his pointedly sagacious words, and fortunately the rest of the band is right there behind him supporting his vision precisely.
Animals In Bloom is a fun album, and not only because of the quick, smart writing, but because you can tell the band is having fun and not taking themselves too seriously.

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