Jason Smith is Night’s Bright Colors, and First Set Fire To The Stars is the final album in his Hospital Quartet cycle, after four albums and eight years. Contextually its an odd point for me to come to Night’s Bright Colors, but First Set Fire To The Stars works fine as a stand alone album.
After a mystical instrumental intro, lead track Eastern Thought surprisingly bursts into a very melodic indie pop tune. It’s very well constructed and sung gently in a cutesy voice, warmth exuding from every pore. Following that Collide has some twinkling rhythms and a really spacey airy feel, somewhere between Air and the Lightning Seeds. This Romance continues the jolly air to the album; you can feel the music bopping around with a smile on its face. Its all fairly basic stuff, but no one can ever undervalue the importance of simply writing good tunes above all else. It’ll never be fashionable, but it never needs to be.
Portland is close to drifting into hippy territory, but in this man’s hands, that no bad thing. Change The Colors, is hypnotic, almost hymnal, while Blue Eyes has elements of Fleet Foxes to its spiritual feel. Some lovely classical sounds on Heaven-Proof segue into the lullaby of Inverness, then Catacombs has a mysterious far eastern feel and Our Sky is brittle indie pop. Dark Summer sounds like the end of times, but it’s a good send off and Recessive Traits is like the afterlife, a light fluffy world it inhabits. It’s a good closing album to the cycle, and one that warrants further investigation.