Premiere: The Bright Light Social Hour Deliver Smoldering Psychedelia on “Lifers Only” Off 5th Album, ‘Emergency Leisure’

The Bright Light Social Hour © Jaycee Grover
The Bright Light Social Hour © Jaycee Grover
A smoldering and psychedelic standout off their new album ‘Emergency Leisure,’ The Bright Light Social Hour’s intoxicating “Lifers Only” is a cosmic fever dream reckoning with purpose and place, destiny and fate.
“Lifers Only” / “Death of a Lifer” – The Bright Light Social Hour




Giving yourself up to love is SO scary, but for a lifer, there’s no fighting it.

You can try to hide from your passions and escape your fate, but a calling is a calling: There’s no running from who we are inside, and as The Bright Light Social Hour know so well, it’s better to lean into ourselves than to deny that very substance that makes us who we are.

The Texan band rediscover their passion and fulfill their promise on Emergency Leisure, their seductive and soul-stirring fifth studio album. Cathartic and cosmic, the record’s smoldering and psychedelic focus single “Lifers Only” is a radiant fever dream reckoning with purpose and place, destiny and fate. It’s a powerful, provocative reflection on identity and being, and a reminder that those “doomed” to a life of music blessed, not cursed; that the fire in our bones and the love in our souls is a gift for us to use and to share throughout our lives.

Emergency Leisure - The Bright Light Social Hour
Emergency Leisure – The Bright Light Social Hour
A child beneath
The likeness of being
The light on your palm
Is an ancient beckoning
Soft and wet and so upset
A perennial predilection
I think this love is something you should know

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for “Lifers Only” and “Death of a Lifer,” the focus single off The Bright Light Social Hour’s brand new album Emergency Leisure (out now via Escondido Sound).

The Austin-based group’s first full-length album in three years (since 2020’s Jude, Vol. II) shines like a beacon in a dark and stormy night. It hasn’t been an easy time for any of us, and in TBLSH’s case, these recent years have been defined by loss and recalibration.

The Bright Light Social Hour © Jaycee Grover
The Bright Light Social Hour © Jaycee Grover



“On the precipice of pandemic, we embarked on a tour that would eventually see the departure of two band members and a near-total pause of our careers,” singer and guitarist Curtis Roush explains. “But in the midst of our confusion and before the curtains dropped, we had a cosmic night at Bar L’Escogriffe in Montreal. After our set, we set aside years of struggle and quite simply danced the night away. As Jack and I rebuilt the band in the twilight days of pandemic with new members Zac Catanzaro (drums), Mia Carruthers (keys/vocals), and Juan “Alfredo” Ríos (percussion), this night served as our North Star. In our home studio on Lake Travis outside Austin, we forged Emergency Leisure to bring this after-hours magic to our dear fans and listeners. We needed the break then, we certainly needed the break during the pandemic years, and we need it now all the same.”

“Come dance the night away with us,” he adds. “We’ve missed you.”

If Emergency Leisure is an invitation, then “Lifers Only” is the beating heart of the operation: That driving pulse pushing everything and everyone forward.

Layers of vivid vocal harmonies coalesce, contrasted with a syncopated bass line and charged, churning drums to create an enthralling and immersive experience. The Bright Light Social Hour have long defined themselves as a “cosmic soul” band, and this song captures that ethos in sound and spirit.

Enraptured in the worries
Of overflowing knowing
We have become experts
In saying goodbye
Soft and wet and so upset
Ephemeral as an erection
I think this love is something you should know
I think this love is something you should know
The Bright Light Social Hour © Andrea Escobar
The Bright Light Social Hour © Andrea Escobar



“It’s about accepting that you’re doomed to a life of music,” the band’s co-founder, vocalist and bassist Jackie O’Brien says. “When my daughter was born it unlocked a level of love I didn’t think was possible, and that love extended to music. I questioned whether continuing life as a musician would be selfish, but realized the best thing I can do for her is follow my passion, to show her what happiness and fulfillment look like. Giving yourself up to love is SO scary, but for a lifer, there’s no fighting it.”

I think this love is something you should know
Bite the apple never be alone
Love me shameless you ain’t going home
I think this love is something you should know

Those three minutes of sweltering heat and deep grooves make “Lifers Only” an irresistible, intoxicating listen. They also make the transition to the minute-long “Death of a Lifer,” also included in the music video, that much more jarring: An experimental upheaval of “growling guitars and distorted vocals” (per the band), this feverish finale to the smoother “Lifers Only” acts like a punch to the gut: Awakening us, whether we want to be up or not. “Ah! Ah! Ah! Every day!” the band roar. “Ah! Ah! Ah! Give it a break!” New challenge: Make this song your alarm and see just how fast you get out of bed in the mornings.

The Bright Light Social Hour © Jaycee Grover
The Bright Light Social Hour © Jaycee Grover



Maybe the ultimate takeaway from “Lifers Only,” and all of Emergency Leisure, is to strive for balance in a world of extremes. People change, they come and go, and things have a way of going off the rails from time to time. It’s up to us to not just survive and maintain, but to persevere through the inevitable chaos – which is exactly what The Bright Light Social Hour have done, expressing it through this song in particular and with their new album as a whole.

Watch the music video for “Lifers Only” and “Death of a Lifer” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stream Emergency Leisure wherever you get your music. The Bright Light Social Hour’s spellbinding fifth album is out now!

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:: stream/purchase Emergency Leisure here ::
:: connect with The Bright Light Social Hour here ::
“Lifers Only” / “Death of a Lifer” – The Bright Light Social Hour



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Emergency Leisure - The Bright Light Social Hour

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? © Jaycee Grover

:: Stream The Bright Light Social Hour ::



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