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Blunda is a dream pop artist from Los Angeles, and his new, optimistically-titled album Brighter Days was inspired by the artist escaping from the city in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic. The songs have a hazy, synth-driven indie pop sound, and although it’s music that, perhaps, could only be made in Los Angeles, it invites the listener, wherever they are, to step back and appreciate life away from the recent events of the last two years. Blunda isn’t blindly positive, however, and the intent here seems to be more about creating a soundscape that one can freely lose themselves in and temporarily forget about everything else.
There is actually a great deal of ambivalence in the material here, and Blunda’s understated vocal delivery on “Lost Without You” adds tension to what would otherwise be a straightforward love song, lending it an effect similar to Depeche Mode. Even the dancier moments like “Belong to Me” and “Ever Since” come with a beautiful melancholy, and the stormy, dream-like instrumental “Bm” threatens to undermine the album’s theme entirely. But it’s as if that is precisely the point of this album–even in the darkest days there is still beauty in giving yourself up to feelings of uncertainty, and Brighter Days is an ambitious and brave record for this.
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