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A taste of the bittersweet with Brightness

brigntness alex knight teething liam cameron

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. 

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July 21, 2017