September 1, 2012- Marquee Magazine, Quick Spins
The light songwriting of Drew Brightbill is a welcome juxtaposition to the normal brooding singer/songwriter.
Brightbill doesn’t lament on lost loves and broken hearts on this eponymous EP, instead he focuses on whimsical topics like ghosts who pen obituaries and the pleasures of petting a dog (in addition to a Todd Snider-inspired mathematical break-down of dog years and time).
With tracks that are more poppy than folky, Brightbill delivers four songs of almost sugary sweet happiness. While everyone knows that sad songs are the best, Brightbill puts a solid effort forward to making the edges of our mouth turn upward with his clever comedic slant on daily life, cheerful melodies and light-hearted observations.
Words in Flight recently had to postpone a few gigs, after Brightbill fell off a bike and broke his wrist, but again, just wait. I’m sure there will be a funny song about that soon. — BFJ
:: Laughing Goat :: September 28 ::
2011 Colorado Daily Readers Choice Winner - Best Local Band!
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BIO on Words In Flight and song-writer Drew Brightbill
Words In Flight is a unique band based on the original music of Drew Brightbill. Drew is a song-writer who doesn’t just simply write songs, but endeavors to make each and every song somehow unique, lyrically or musically in either its theme or musical approach.
Whether it is his bouncy reggae-inspired social commentary tune about dogs, Americana-reminiscent ripper about obituaries, or his acoustic waltz duet love song written for male and female vocals and harmony, these 3 tunes are a snapshot of a greater catalog, and appear on his band’s recently released eponymous EP, “Words In Flight”.
Drew first began writing instrumental-only piano ditties in his mid-teens, and into his college years wrote a number of alternative rock influenced songs. After choosing the bard approach of employing acoustic guitar as the core instrument for his writing, his growing understanding of music theory, chord extensions, and modulation of keys opened the door to a slew of tunes that would become much of the material for his band.
Now, his arsenal of songs includes material with elements of, or that could be considered the following:
Swinging acoustic pop, anthemic blues rocker, folky ballads, funky feel-good grooves, country-throwback beats, a capella, sea shanty, a child’s lullaby, straight ahead rock, finger-picked laid back folk, and even songs that borrow from jazz and world-music in their use of chord extensions and musical feel.
Lyrically, the songs are equally as vast. The approach is usually to recount a strange or poignant tale or to encapsulate the essence of given theme. Like many music lyricists, common themes such as love, or lost-love are represented, but often with a clever twist and the rife use of metaphor (such as equating a relationship to that of a short visit from a ladybug, or a falling-out due to one person being more interested in outdoor biking). Other themes that are woven throughout this music are nature, sustainability, aging, sex (usually comically), place, passage of time, rebellion against societal conventions, religion, trains, cities, procrastination, gratitude for life’s blessings, and among many others, a proverbial middle-finger (written as a response to any audience member who may happen to call out “Freebird”). This is certainly no predictable, repetitive composer regurgitating past ideas.
Despite the attempts at diversity , the music is strangely cohesive, and to a listener the original material isn’t incongruous or surprising coming from the same band. There is a unifying essence that connects these songs as coming from one artist. Cognizant of rhythm and strumming patterns, tempo and time signature, the variety is clearly intentional. However, one commonality to these songs are strong melodies and hooks (no fear in creating a sing-able chorus), as well as interesting music that plays well to a casual listener who may just be listening to it in the background.
Drew’s song-writing has not relented, having just completed a 10-song opus, described by a band-mate as a rock-opera. Termed in his view as a loose concept record it tells several different stories, united under one greater theme… that the answer to life’s searches may be found in one’s own back yard.
The band Words In Flight features the instrumentation of acoustic guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and lead guitar and on certain shows joined by female vocal harmonies, and accordion. Its members each bring their own talent to the group, all having written their own parts, creating texture and color to the foundation of Drew’s songs. Together, they create an overall musical experience that is listenable and enjoyable at the surface, and extremely layered, mindful, and engaging to a more scrutinizing listener.