Never since the release of Acceptance's "Phantoms" have I been so taken aback by a select collection of songs. "Wake," the long awaited debut LP from Portland, Oregon's Brightwood, is an album that overwhelms - both sonically and emotionally. At times downright heartbreaking, at others astoundingly optimistic, it is an effort that displays music's ability to shake the soul and leave the listener entirely vulnerable. A true testament to the spirit DIY, this is the way music should sound. Slightly more layered and experimental than many similar pop-rock collections, the album carries a far greater shelf life than many releases of their contemporaries. To think that a band having only released on prior EP could put together one of this year's best releases is an awe-inspiring feat - even more so when one considers the self reliance that the band epitomizes.
A fan such as me can only hope that a record of this stature will find a way to reach so many unaware listeners.
"Wake" is everything I've waited for and more.
Pull me in. Don't let me drown. This will not be easy, you'll have to hold me down. Tie me up, don't let me run. Because another day without you is another lifeless one.
I'm in love.
And I'm inspired.
Who knows what will become of this.