REVIEW: Author – ‘Of Brighter Days’


Artist: Author
Album: Of Brighter Days
Genre: Indie, Alternative
Label: Unsigned

Minneapolis’ Author have been riding a wave of praise since the release of their debut EP, People Are Alike All Over, a lush offering that left alternative music fans weak in the knees and hungry for a follow-up. Now, two years later, the four-piece is back with a well-rounded LP that not only meets, but exceeds all expectations.

Carefully crafted from start to finish, Of Brighter Days is a record defined by details. From the glassy opening of “Fiction” to the tender closing of “Find The Words,” every hook, riff, and bridge exhales a profound sense of self, resulting in a cohesive collection that only grows more vivid with time.

Delicate piano chords kick things off, but are quickly overpowered by smart guitar lines and driving percussion. Vocalist Trevor Bartlett takes the reins without hesitation, and all at once it becomes clear that Author excels as a single unit; no one band member shines, but rather, their combined efforts work as one to create melodies that are both memorable and utterly airtight. This aptitude becomes even more apparent with the ebbing rhythms of “Forget,” which could almost pass as a forgotten Death Cab cut if not for its complexity and depth. The more laid back sibling of the previously referenced opener, it’s a prime example of the type of vibrant arrangements that lie ahead.

“Regret,” the album’s lead single, maintains a similar sense of purpose despite its mainstream sensibilities. Lofty harmonies hit home as Bartlett expounds a heartbroken sermon, eventually swelling to a powerful conclusion worthy of any alt-rock rotation. “Wander” is equally enthralling, built around a bevy of layered vocals that I can’t help but compare to the Bee Gees. Still, this song is a far cry from the dance floor ditties of yesteryear; subtle synth, rolling drums, and happy handclaps move as one to construct a backdrop that is both introspective and upbeat.

Dueling vocal lines dominate “Extraordinary,” and the result is breathtaking. A haunting, airy track, it is without a doubt one of the group’s most impressive undertakings. “Clouds” also acts as a welcome break from the norm, relying more heavily on synth than its predecessors, while “Shadows” is similarly charming despite its familiar chord progressions. Not to be forgotten, the closer, “Find The Words,” again puts Bartlett’s velvety croon at the forefront, allowing listeners to slowly drift into melancholy contemplation.

For most, finding a sound that is uniquely their own takes time, and often, multiple attempts, but this is not the case with Author. Of Brighter Days is fluid and focused throughout, and lacks the loose ends that so often cripple similar releases. An impressive debut that is more than worthy of your time, stream it here, and pick up a copy wherever music is sold.

SCORE: 8/10
Written by Kyle Florence (@GetLowWitTheFlo)

Kyle Florence

Kyle Florence is a proud Wisconsinite, a dinosaur enthusiast, and a lover of all things weird and whacky.
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