You may not know it, but you’ve already heard the music of Kelly Pratt, aka Bright Moments. Not only is the Kentucky native an active member of Beirut, but he’s also made musical contributions to bands like Coldplay, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, the Maccabees, Harlem Shakes, and Alexi Murdoch.
This week, Pratt releases his debut album under the Bright Moments moniker. Natives was recorded over many years, and features a multitude of influences from many genres, all of which Pratt picked during his years as a musician.
Roland Kirk Quartet - “Serenade To A Cuckoo”
The name of my band Bright Moments comes from the album of the same name by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. He was one of jazz's most melodic improvisers and and an outrageous showman to boot.
Wu-Tang Clan - “Shame On A N*gga”
I have probably listened to Enter The Wu-Tang more than any other album. This track features ODB (RIP) at his finest.
The Blow - “True Affection”
So simple, and so gratifying. It's refreshing to hear a truly gifted singer who doesn't overdo it with the reverb.
Thelonious Monk & John Coltrane - "Nutty"
Although short lived, the Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane yielded some very rich results. Coltrane thrived in this heady setting, developing his "sheets of sound" improvising style he would employ for several years to come.
Dolly Parton - “Little Sparrow”
I had the great pleasure to see Dolly live last year and this song brought my friends and me to tears. Her voice has not faded a bit in the last 40 years.
Portishead - “Machine Gun”
I saw Portishead over the summer and was blown away by their live performance. Beth Gibbons' vocals somehow managed to sound even better live than on record.
Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
I'm a sucker for solo saxophone recordings (really!). Colin has managed to redefine how the instrument is played and recorded.
The Luyas - “Canary”
Probably my favorite album of 2011. The Luyas have such a unique sound, anchored by Jessie Stein's ethereal vocals. And there's French horn!
Shafiq - “No Moor”
A profoundly weird song that will stick in your head for weeks. It's a shame this record didn't make more of a splash.
Jay Reatard - “My Shadow”
Punk rock lost a great songwriter with Jay Reatard's untimely death in 2010. Fortunately he left us a huge body of recorded work.
J.D. Crowe & The New South - “Old Home Place”
Bluegrass giant Crowe is from my hometown of Lexington, KY. Don't let the bright tempo fool you, this is as tragic a song as you will ever hear.