Los Angeles-based dream-pop artist and producer Blunda recently dropped his new album, Brighter Days.
Blunda explains, “This album came out of wanting to create a space and feeling that would transport the listener. I found myself going on tons of hikes this past year with my son and exploring all these amazing places just outside of the city. I really wanted to create something that gave the feeling of being in all these wide-open spaces. Especially after all the lockdowns of the last couple of years. I love music that takes you out of reality and puts you into a feeling or place. That inspired me as I worked on the songs and gave me the freedom to let them be. With or without vocals.”
Blunda is the solo project of composer/producer Andy Blunda. Blunda, a classically trained pianist in college, was the guitarist and keyboard player for the bands Fastball and Paloalto in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. He also toured with artists Jason Falkner (Jellyfish, Beck, St. Vincent) and Zoe Bonham playing guitar and keyboards.
In 2010, Blunda started composing music for television and film. His music can be heard in countless TV shows, commercials, and films. In 2013 he received the ASCAP television and film award for his music in Discovery’s After the Catch. His recent projects include the Hyundai Canada EV ad campaign and the 7th season of Jay Leno’s Garage.
Comprising eight tracks, Brighter Days begins with “Beginning,” which opens on the sounds of falling rain, followed by emerging droning tones, followed by a percussive rhythm. As the tune gathers heft and resonance, a percolating pulse underscores brighter tones.
Highlights include “Lost Without You,” blending elements of dance, new wave, and dream-pop into a shimmering, creamy tune topped by dreamy, velvety vocals. The feel and flow of the harmonics are hypnotic and alluring, akin to Alan Parsons crossed with Depeche Mode.
“Ever Since,” vaguely reminiscent of Howard Jones, rides a syncopated rhythm and washes of glittering coloration as a wistful, cashmere voice infuses the lyrics with slightly melancholic tones. A personal favorite, “Bm” rolls out on dark yet shimmering colors, at once seductive and ominously mysterious.
The final track, “Light On,” features resonant layers of both heavy and luminous hues riding a rumbling rhythm. Pensive, Pink Floyd-like vocals infuse the lyrics with gentle, caressing timbres as if wandering through a dreamscape.
Brighter Days is excellent, dripping with thick, luscious dream-pop, hints of new wave, and fluent prog-rock. This album definitely deserves attention.