Columbia music scene fixture Dave Britt’s new EP, “Waiting for a Brighter Sun” might just surprise those who have known him for his previous work with the Americana-based Rival Brothers. While there are still nods to ’80s roots rock and folk in his style, his sophomore release as a solo artist turns his sights on a more indie pop sound, with strong arrangements anchored by a DIY recording process. Self-recorded at home after some intensive online lessons in music production, the end result was finalized at a recording studio and it sounds as pro and radio-ready as possible. While not as rootsy as his old band, he retains some of the Rival Brothers feel, just filtered through a modernized indie/ alt-rock aesthetic. Listeners could make comparisons to several poppy alternative bands from the ’90s, like Toad the Wet Sprocket, Matthew Sweet or Dave Matthews and with the Americana undercurrent still firmly entrenched in his work, I get a Frank Black & the Catholics vibe, which is fine company to be in.
Opener “Over My Shoulder” has stately horns and an island party feel thanks to the reggae/ ska-like guitars. It’s perfect dance music and right out of the gate, Britt lets us know that he plans on traveling around a few genres in these 6 songs. The radio aspirations are apparent and one could see this song having some crossover potential. The strings in “California” aim at an almost baroque pop sound and like the first song, the strong, pertinent bass line running throughout keeps the indie pop feel coming. “Nothing Better” is more guitar-oriented and one of the more rock focused songs here, along with “10,000 Miles Away”, which has a roots rock appeal ala Jason Isbell and a sweet but mournful guitar riff that will stick with the listener. The production on “Broken Glass” shines and Dave Britt lets his trademark vocal style lead the charge here. The record ends with ‘Don’t Wake”, a mid-paced rocker with and old school alt-rock feel and some nice key parts.
Time, distance and change seem to be the recurring lyrical themes of “Waiting for a Brighter Sun”, and its obvious that Dave Britt has got something new to show off here and maybe something to prove, too. It will be interesting to see which roads his next project sets off on.
Recommended if you like: Toad the Wet Sprocket, Dave Matthews, Frank Black & the Catholics
Sean Knight is a native South Carolinian who has spent his life bouncing back and forth between SC and Texas, playing in bands you probably never heard of in both states and stinking up open-mic nights in the Low Country for many years. He plays, collects, listens to and probably spends too much of his life obsessing over music.