Bit of Brightness, the second album from Brisbane-Meanjin indie-folk five-piece Full Power Happy Hour builds on the immense promise of their 2021 self-titled debut, adding a gorgeous tinge of alt-country elegance to their inherent feel-good jangle-pop foundations. This musical bed – assembled collaboratively, allowing the band’s true spirit to shine through – proves the perfect foil for frontperson Alex Campbell’s compellingly personal lyrics, documenting a tumultuous period in their life, an at times fraught journey recast into beautiful, eloquent art.
The 10 songs veer from bright, upbeat toe-tappers to plaintive, introspective ballads, but flow together superbly due to the group’s underlying camaraderie and fast-blossoming chemistry. At times reminiscent of forebears like The Go-Betweens and The Clean, with flourishes of Lucinda Williams and contemporaries like Big Thief and The Weather Station, Bit of Brightness is 100% Full Power Happy Hour and one utterly beguiling aural experience.
“This album is different in a lot of ways, ”Campbell reflects. “The first album was all songs I had written almost 10 years ago, and I came to the band with them as a recording project. This time around, all these songs are new and had been written over the last year or so. I wrote all the lyrics again, but in terms of musical elements the songs are collaborative, written through a process of jamming them out together in the rehearsal room which we didn’t do as much for the first album. Also Full Power Happy Hour has been together as a band for three years now, and we’ve become pretty close as both musicians and friends, so there’s a supportive space to experiment, and to try and fail attempting new things.
“These songs are pretty personal again, they go into some vulnerable stuff because when I write lyrics they’re like a poem or diary entry, and then I put them to music. But I feel these songs are a lot more relevant to my own life right now, not just because I’ve written them more recently that the first album’s songs, but because my life has changed a lot in the last 18 months.”
Release: November 4th, 2022, Coolin’ By Sound