IRW Recommends: The Lower 48, Brite Lines, Lower Lights Burning, David John at CCT

Brite Lines EP "Make Shift"

Tonight, a little band you might not have heard of, Brite Lines, is releasing their first EP, Make Shift. If you have friends in bands, you’ve probably gotten a million invites to a million EP/LP/Split/Single releases in the last few months. I have too, but this is the one I’m really excited about. Why? Because lead singer/songwriter, Zach Gore, is more than just a musician, he’s also a visual artist. I recently saw the EP and the DIY dork in me knew immediately that if he put this much effort into making the outside pretty, the inside must be pretty freaking cool.

The name of the album brings to mind change, with a sense of control. To represent this idea, Zach carved stamps (a butterfly inside a snow globe, an interesting representation of metamorphosis paused) and hand stamped each individual CD sleeve. The five song album, composed of one single and four demos, is lovely too. Brite Lines incorporates niche instruments—musical saw, melodica, banjo—without being a niche band itself. Somehow, Zach smiles through energetic performances even while singing about that moment before the end of love, when the warmth has died out. Make Shift is an upbeat ode to the changes we make in ourselves in the wake of heartbreak.

Joining Brite Lines are Portland band The Lower 48, Shelton’s Lower Lights Burning and David John of Handful of Luvin’. Headliners The Lower 48 play harmony-heavy folk songs. It’s not a new concept for a Northwest band to play this kind of music, but it is sometimes hard to judge who stands out among a sea of similar sounds. The Lower 48 stands out. Alternating female and male leads, songs are catchy and go to unexpected places, which is a welcome change from music without an identity. Songs like “Travelling Tune” bring to mind Iron and Wine, in both the sounds of the leads’ vocals and in their instrumentation.

Lower Lights Burning is a band led by (full disclosure: my very good friend), Graydon Holden, whose voice is both full and comforting. As a band, they bounce listeners up and down on the waves of a sound that seems wholly at home on a ship. Every time I hear this band, I am reminded a little of Dispatch, one of high school me’s favorite bands, without the jam bandiness that makes me feel hateful. I admit I have never really listened to Handful of Luvin’, although many of my friends are huge fans. Recently, I caught a few songs from David John at a small benefit he played. I had just gotten off work and was in no mood for music about positivity (which seemed to be the benefit’s theme), but what I heard struck me as well-crafted music that captivated its audience.

Tonight’s show is going to be an interesting example of bands with several different brands of energy sharing the same stage. I am most excited to see Zach’s stage antics as I see Brite Lines live for the first time, and to find out if The Lower 48 play their instruments as beautifully in front of an audience as they do on their record. This is a well-rounded bill and should appeal to a wide spectrum of Seattle music-goers, which is why Inside Right Wrist recommends this for your Thursday night.

The Lower 48, Brite Lines, Lower Lights Burning, and David John
4/5 at Columbia City Theater
Doors 8pm
Tix $8 adv/$10 Doors, 21+

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