James Richards - guitar, bass, vocals
Vickie Burick - vocals, percussion
Lauren Brown - violin, cello
Maria Potapov - violin, viola
Mike Alexander - cello, bass, percussion
Adam Barnhill - piano, keyboard, drums
Josh Rhinehart - bass, trumpet, vocals
Polly Schattel - guitars, bass, recording
Bryan Morissey - drums, percussion
Matthew Mauney - guitar, recording
Darren Stroup - drums, percussion
Addison Brown - drums, bass
Night's Bright Colors’ first cries of life came about in typically schizophrenic fashion—a pair of EPs in 2002, one recorded in a studio with a full band, and another collection of quieter songs recorded at home on 4-track. The project was founded, led and sometimes staffed as the only member by Jason Smith, a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Asheville, NC who grew up listening to the usual suspects but quickly created his own unique vibe: sensitive and sharp, quieter than most, capable of deeply melodic incisions to our etherized collective unconscious.
From 2003-2012, the band’s main creative focus delved deep into convalescence, and was spent writing and refining songs for an extensive concept series of four albums that depicted the passing of a single night in a mental institution. The series, called Progression of Night, starts with Love In The Asylum—the title taken from a poem by longtime insomniac Dylan Thomas—and is followed by First Set Fire To The Stars, Late Night By Lamplight, and concludes with Late Bloomer.
The quartet features traditional song structures alongside more ambient experimental elements with a varied palette of instrumentation courtesy of the countless musical guests that have contributed to the series. Originally modeled on symphony form (each album representing a movement), themes and textures are reprised and referenced throughout. The series is a vast exploration into the nature of redemption, the lyrics using wordplay, sybolism, and shifting perspectives to depict a fictitious protagonist’s struggles with memories, loss, dreams, hallucinations, and the trauma of experience.
Called an "epic-length recording of dreamy music" (Indie-Music.com), the quartet was a regular feature on various southern radio stations (particularly WNCW, WPVM, WUAG), and the albums received an enthusiastic critical reception. Love In The Asylum was reissued by RCat Records in 2010, and Patient Notes, a collection of B-sides from the series, was released as a coda that same year.
In addition to his work with Night's Bright Colors, Smith has been active in the film community, writing original scores for many projects in various genres. This experience in turn led to Absinthe Twilight, an ambient-folk record that incorporated new textures such as tape manipulation/loops, found sounds, field recordings, and orchestral and Satie-esque piano pieces into discrete miniatures, musical cues for a somnambulant film.
Early Light and Fin And Pier, the two most recent albums, return to a more traditional pop direction, albeit with Smith’s typical eccentricities and brain-burrowing melodies featured in every track. A career retrospective, Palette (2002-2017), consists of select tracks from the
previous albums remastered by Adam McDaniel (Animal Collective).