The Washington Post

Get to know U Street Music Hall performer Bright Light Bright Light

Rod Thomas, better known as Bright Light Bright Light, plays U Street Music Hall Thursday. (Alex Petch)
Rod Thomas, better known as Bright Light Bright Light, plays U Street Music Hall Thursday. (Alex Petch)

Welsh electropop artist Rod Thomas, 30, dubbed his solo project Bright Light Bright Light as a nod to the decade in which he was born (in 1984’s “Gremlins,” Gizmo squeals the phrase). However, it’s the sounds of the ’90s — when Thomas first started buying music — that have had the most influence on his keyboard-based anthems.

Sisters Act

Thomas released folk tunes eponymously in the late 2000s, then launched Bright Light Bright Light at the turn of the decade when he dropped his Eurythmics- and Robyn-indebted single “Love Part II.” After supporting British singer Ellie Goulding on tour in 2010, Thomas went on the road with the Scissor Sisters in 2012, due in no small part to Thomas’ friendship with Sisters guitarist Del Marquis, who sings on Bright Light Bright Light’s “Cry at Films.”

A Steady Sheen

Bright Light Bright Light songs deal confidently with the musings and longings of a heart broken in by life and relationships. The 2012 album “Make Me Believe in Hope” makes this clear in its declarations of “Now I feel so ordinary” on “Immature” and “You changed my mind, and you took me by surprise” on “Love Part II.” (The latter was recorded in five hours with Andy Chatterley, who’s worked with Kylie Minogue and The Pussycat Dolls.) All of the album’s tracks are endowed with irresistible club-kid spirit in the vein of Ace of Base and Pet Shop Boys.

Tender Loving ‘Care’

Thomas has hopped the pond to New York, but a sense of nostalgia for home permeates his latest EP, “In Your Care.” On the bittersweet title track, he reminds us that “all the cracks are as plain to see, but I learn to be strong and learn to be free.” Another full-length album is in the works, but in the meantime, fans wanting more can enjoy outtakes from his debut album on SoundCloud and his Rdio-commissioned cover of Chvrches’ hit “The Mother We Share.”

U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW; Thu., 9 p.m., $15; 202-588-1880. (U Street)



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