Premiere: Queen’s Brian May Joins Flarelight on “Glimmer,” a Hopeful & Hard-Hitting Alt-Rock Fever Dream

Flarelight © 2023
Flarelight © 2023
A breathtaking, soul-shaking, volcanic eruption of raw, unfiltered emotion, Flarelight’s alt-rock anthem “Glimmer” featuring Queen’s Brian May is a spectacular stadium-sized fever dream shining a beacon of light in the dark.
Stream: “Glimmer” – Flarelight ft. Brian May

‘GLIMMER’ is an outrageously original track – I was happy to be able to contribute to its outrageousness!!!

– Brian May

It’s not every day that one of rock’s living legends lays down a track for your indie band’s new single.

Then again, Flarelight are no ordinary group – and this is no ordinary song.

The word “glimmer” holds special meaning for the Nashville-based duo of Tyler Warren and Rachel Brandsness: In fact, it’s the title of their 2019 debut album, an emotionally-charged, painstakingly-crafted rock record that lay the foundations of their hard-hitting sound, highlighting their individual talents while capturing their strengths as a united front.

Glimmer came out of a dark chapter in Warren’s life, and he always felt it deserved a coda: Something that resolved the tension and turmoil he and Brandsness had unleashed in those initial, visceral, and aching songs. It only made sense that such a piece – an epilogue of sorts – should not only bear the name of its predecessor, but also stand on its own as a cathartic release of everything that had led up to this point.

That Queen’s Brian May agreed to lend his talents to their song – via an epic, soaring guitar solo, no less – was simply kismet.

A breathtaking, soul-shaking, volcanic eruption of raw, unfiltered emotion, Flarelight’s alt-rock anthem “Glimmer” is a spectacular stadium-sized fever dream shining a beacon of light in the dark. It’s a seismic, cinematic outpouring of inner tension and turmoil: An unapologetic, uncompromising soundtrack to reckoning and release full of hope, heart, and faith in the promise of a new dawn.

Glimmer - Flarelight ft. Brian May
Glimmer – Flarelight ft. Brian May
Your eyes
In a world full of cold, dark eyes
See through my disguise
And fill the hole where my heart resided
You’ll find
I give myself to the night
To hide from the light you shine
That makes me feel I could love again
Feel what I feel
It’s the only love that lasts forever
If you feel what I feel
It’s the only love that lasts forever
Ooh watch it go
(Watch it all go down)

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Glimmer,” Flarelight’s hauntingly beautiful first single of 2023 (independently out October 6, 2023). The musical alt-rock manifestation of a warm, glowing light at the end of a long, long tunnel, “Glimmer” serves as a reminder that all things in life are cyclical – with every end, there is a new beginning; and in every darkness, there shines a ray of light.

Flarelight © 2023
Flarelight © 2023

Don’t you feel what I feel? It’s the only love that lasts forever…

Of course, seeing the light is one thing; getting there is something else altogether, as Flarelight’s impassioned, emotional performance highlights.

“This song is deeply personal for me, like most of my songs since we started Flarelight,” Tyler Warren tells Atwood Magazine. “The story behind it is one that most, if not all of us have experienced, I believe. We’ve all gone through breakups, some more painful than others, and the aftermath that ensues. That feeling of desperation, that you’re never going to recover, or pull yourself out of this hole you find yourself in. Then, you find something or meet someone that changes that, that gives you hope, that gives you a tiny little beacon of light. That’s why it’s named “Glimmer,” because suddenly, you’ve found that glimmer of hope… a glimmer of light.”

“And even though you feel this hope, it’s not necessarily easy to crawl back out of that hole and open your heart again. Most of us are afraid to let ourselves feel that kind of love again, after having been scarred so badly. And that’s all in the verses… we close our hearts off to not feel pain (“you’ll see, I push away what’s true, afraid I’ll fall into you”), or we give pieces of ourselves away to not feel anything, whether it’s numbing ourselves, lust, etc (“you’ll find I give myself to the night, to hide from the light you shine”), and yet discovering you really can love again.”

Flarelight © 2023
Flarelight © 2023

It’s in the title, really – a ‘glimmer’ of hope. Out of darkness eventually comes light (and love).

“Glimmer” is decidedly emo, its verses filled with desolation and hopelessness, and its choruses standing in contrast as Warren refuses to let that pain consume him.

Your face
Reminds me of the pain
Of loving unrestrained
And how a heart can break in two
You’ll see
I push away what’s true
Afraid I’ll fall into you
And you’ll make me feel
I could love again

“I really wanted to capture this range of emotions with the music,” he explains. “I really feel the sparseness is key. The riff / arrangement is simple, but it’s all about the dynamics. The verses are tentative, withdrawn, almost whispered, but once you let yourself feel these feelings again, let yourself love again, the dam bursts, and the chorus is deafening. FEEL WHAT I FEEL, IT’S THE ONLY LOVE THAT LASTS FOREVER.”

“And then… all of these emotions finally come to a head with Brian.”

Warren and Brian May already know each other from playing together in another band: Since 2017, both have shared the stage in Queen + Adam Lambert. The collaboration (some call it a “spinoff”) between Queen’s remaining members, Brian May and Roger Taylor, and vocalist Adam Lambert has toured nearly every continent over the past decade, keeping Queen’s music (and enduring legacy) alive for multiple generations to enjoy side-by-side. Their third worldwide tour, titled “The Rhapsody Tour,” recently kicked off its second North American leg, and is set to continue through early 2024.

It’s one thing for Warren to play onstage with May every night, but it’s another for May to record his own guitar line for a new song. That’s more than an endorsement; it’s a blessing.

“The fact that Brian was so generous and contributed his time and guitar still blows my mind, despite the fact that we share the stage together with Queen + Adam Lambert,” Warren says. “For anyone familiar with his work… he understands these emotions, these feelings, these desperations. Just listen to “Save Me,” “It’s Late,” “Too Much Love Will Kill You”… and he captures that desperation amazingly with the first solo. Each added layer feels like another teardrop. And then the dam bursts again with the second solo. To me, it’s like you’ve discovered love again, and it’s overflowing out of you, and Brian’s solo is so frenetic and wild that that’s exactly what I hear and feel – so much so that those squealing guitar lines inspired my last screams… ‘Can you feel me?? Can you feel our love will last forever?‘”

Flarelight © 2023
Flarelight © 2023

His solo really encapsulates the song’s feelings as well. The loneliness, the slow build up (ie the slow ‘rediscovery’), then finally bursting out of the darkness and into the light.

“I believe music that is true is the music that really reaches and touches people,” he continues. “And I can only hope that this song means as much to someone else out there as it does to me. I hope that this song can help someone else out of a hole, and help someone realize that there is life after tragedy, and if you let it, it can be overwhelmingly beautiful.”

Feel what I feel
It’s the only love that lasts forever
Don’t you feel what I feel?
It’s the only love that lasts forever

For Brandsness, a seasoned guitarist in her own right, who is endorsed by Eventide and, prior to Flarelight, played lead guitarist in Nashville band Fools for Rowan, collaborating with Brian May is a true pinch-me moment.

“Many of our fans know that we do almost everything in house with Flarelight, from the writing to the recording, mixing and even artwork, it tends to be just Tyler and me, so now to be welcoming a collaboration with none other than Brian May himself just feels so surreal,” she says. “He has one of the most iconic guitar sounds in the history of rock music and to hear his playing on our song still makes me want to pinch myself. I don’t think anyone else could have come up with a more perfect part to elevate the song the way he did.”

Flarelight © 2023
Flarelight © 2023

It’s… wrestling with that feeling of being in that darkness for so long. Is this love real, or can it ever be real again? Spoiler – yes.

Relentless and raw, heartfelt and heated, “Glimmer” feels larger-than-life.

“‘GLIMMER’ is an outrageously original track,” Brian May tells Atwood Magazine. “I was happy to be able to contribute to its outrageousness!!!”

While this song is elevated certainly by Brian May’s iconic presence, there’s also something to be said for its bare bones, and how Warren and Brandsness deftly build a sonic world around Warren’s brutally honest and vulnerable lyrics. It’s a world that aches from the inside out: In order to know what it’s like to soar, we must first feel the weight of being tied to the ground – and Flarelight ensure we feel everything and then some in their stunning new single.

Stream “Glimmer” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and lose yourself in this hair-raising eruption.

Ooh watch it go
(Watch it all go down)
Can you feel me?
Can you feel our love will last forever?

— —

:: connect with Flarelight here ::
Stream: “Glimmer” – Flarelight ft. Brian May

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Glimmer - Flarelight ft. Brian May

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