• Old 'Stache
Artwork by artist Evan Brightly

Evan Brightly Redefines ‘Rock Art’

written by: on November 18, 2010

Evan Brightly is unique, artistic and multifaceted. Evan Brightly has written a novel, produced an album and is an established painter. Evan Brightly isn’t even a man.

It has been over two years since the band from Phoenix, Ariz. first assumed the identity of Evan Brightly, and has since created an entire personality surrounding the mysterious man with the clock face.

The band’s debut album The Narrator is an extension of that elusive air.

With songs resembling a mixture of Coldplay, classical and even the Moulin Rouge Soundtrack, Evan Brightly’s turns these influences into a sound of its own.

As a whole, the album is perfectly imperfect. The disheveled, and sometimes downright haunting, voices create a specific tone for each track, ranging from bright and optimistic, to grim and cynical.

For The Narrator’s title track, the band chooses the deceivingly optimistic piece, “Love Is A Perfect Thing.”

The track is an interesting mix of the band’s sound, starting off slow, with a simplistic piano tune, before developing into a more upbeat, progressive piece.

The majority of the album is characterized by ambient tunes, which use orchestral instruments for many of the darker songs, giving them more of a classical, old-world overtone on tracks such as “Aedee” and “Madison.”

A few pieces, though, take on a Panic at the Disco feel, by spinning lyrical tales that listeners can easily picture. Tracks such as “The Frame” are more than a simple song. They tell a passion-infused story.

Evan Brightly’s storytelling ability is what sets the band apart from more one-dimensional bands. Each song, whether it is slow, fast, instrumental or lyrically dominated, embodies a story. Audiences can easily paint a portrait to the tune.

The song “Run” evokes an obvious image of running away. The character runs from his fears; runs from loss; runs until he cannot feel anymore. The rushed violin pizzicato perfectly aids the lyrics to establish a paranoid tone.

The album comes full circle with the closing track, “Upon Waking,” a somber, almost meditative instrumental piece that mirrors the tone in the beginning of the album.

The band also stresses the importance in reinventing “rock art.” To visually reflect the album, Evan Brightly creates paintings according to what they think each song represents.

Every piece is as contrasting as the tracks themselves. The paintings range from a simple red heart sprouting tree branches, titled “Love Is A Perfect Thing,” to a jarring piece of a lonely figure, standing in a misty graveyard, named “Aedee.”

For the band, The Narrator is not limited to lyrics or songs. The Narrator is an all-encompassing work, meant to reach readers on all artistic levels. Evan Brightly even put out a novel that shares the same title, to accompany the album.

Evan Brightly sets the bar high with this one, but rumor is, they have a second novel in the works to go with another album.