Magazine

A taste of the bittersweet with Brightness

Alex Knight is the mind behind Brightness, easily one of the most exciting recent acts to come out of New South Wales.

A few weeks before his debut album Teething hit the world for a second time, we caught up to chat the past, the pessimistic and the problem with a lo-fi label.

brigntness alex knight teething liam cameron
Photo by Liam Cameron

Operating in the present yet anchored in the past, Brightness displays a refreshing mindfulness for the rose-tinted trap we all fall into.

HAPPY: Am I right in saying you’ve done a lot of your recording at home?

ALEX: Yeah.

HAPPY: What kind of setup do you have there?

ALEX: Recently?

HAPPY: For the album.

ALEX: I don’t actually have any proper gear apart from an interface. Everything I did on the record was friends’ gear. I didn’t even own a guitar until I got a record deal, I just couldn’t afford any of that. I used to borrow people’s stuff. I mean when I was in high school, I probably had more gear then because I was using this tape machine that I’d got at an auction. It was damaged, it took about a year to get it working but then it was just the most amazing toy you could ever imagine.

HAPPY: Saying you use an interface threw me off, your stuff sounds like tape recordings.

ALEX: Well one song is, Waltz. I tried that in a different style and it didn’t work. I do some mixing at home but it’s all in the box, no outboard gear. I was just using one little speaker in front of me, routed mono, and that’s how I mixed it. I felt like, if it sounded good like that, that’s a very basic rule to go by.

HAPPY: Your style, it does sound like it comes from a lo-fi setup, that’s the real thing I gleaned from hearing the record.

ALEX: To be perfectly honest, I didn’t really intend it to be a lo-fi thing. I kind of roughed a few things up because it didn’t sound right, and if you make all these small changes to lots of different things then it all ends up sounding fuzzy. I never intended for it to be like that, I’m very weary of that nostalgia trap.

Read the full interview in Happy Mag Issue #5.

Teething, the debut album from Brightness, it out now via I OH YOU.